London Zoo: Two-toed sloth cradles her baby

Zookeepers have shared photographs of a two-toed sloth cradling her three-month-old baby.

London Zoo’s Marilyn gave birth to her eighth baby, Nova, on New Year’s Day.

Since then the tiny sloth has developed well and has grown fast, keepers said.

Sloth-keeper Veronica Heldt said: “Like all new mums will attest to this Mother’s Day, personal space does not exist with a newborn. Since Nova’s birth, mum and baby have been inseparable.”

Ms Heldt said that baby sloths cling to their mother’s stomach for a year until they are “strong enough to swing solo”.

They also learn from their mothers about the best foods to eat, she added.

Keepers said that they have spotted the young sloth’s “cheeky side”, and have caught Nova taking food straight out of Marilyn’s claws.

Marilyn is part of a European breeding programme for two-toed sloths. Her offspring have been moved to conservation zoos across Europe after being matched with mates.

“Every birth has been a conservation success, so this Mother’s Day we’ll be celebrating Marilyn and all the other animal parents at the zoo — all are vital to ZSL’s work preserving and protecting wildlife,” Ms Heldt said.

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