ZSL London Zoo has welcomed the arrival of a beautiful baby sloth.
The little one was born to Marilyn the two-toed in February after a year-long pregnancy, but has only just been spotted by keepers.
“We saw two big brown eyes peering out through mum’s fur, and on closer inspection we were delighted to see a healthy-looking youngster tucked into her tummy,” sloth keeper Steve Goodwin said.
“Sloths have a long gestation period so the infants are already physically well-developed when they’re born. Incredibly, this means they are able to eat solid food right away.
“However, juveniles tend to stay with their mother for around 12 months before leaving their side – they’re a very ‘clingy’ species in general; to trees and to their mum.”
The little one’s gender is not yet known as there aren’t obvious external differences between males and females, but this will be discovered later by vet scans.
The baby’s birth will be added to the European Studbook (ESB) as part of a co-ordinated breeding programme for the species.
Sloths are a tree dwelling, nocturnal herbivore from Central and South America that grow claws of between three and four inches (eight to 10cm) in length.
The ZSL is the Zoological Society of London, a conservation and education charity with projects in more than 50 countries.