There's a tiny new addition at the ZSL London Zoo. A baby two-toed sloth named Truffle was born at the facility in mid-August. The first photos of the new arrival show a wide-eyed baby clinging to its mom, Marilyn.
Keepers spotted the small baby one morning as it was holding on to its mother. Marilyn had delivered a few weeks earlier than expected.
Dad is Marilyn's long-time mate, Leander."This is Marilyn and Leander’s fifth baby, so she had clearly taken it all in her stride, giving us a lovely surprise to wake up to," McKinley said.
Mom and baby spent the first few days high in their habitat's leafy rainforest. After a while, Marilyn took the baby exploring and keepers were able to get a closer look. Keepers won't know the baby's sex until they have a chance to analyze a sample of its DNA.
“Sloths have a long gestation period so the infants are physically well-developed when they’re born and able to eat solid food right away,” said Marcel. “At 3-weeks-old, Marilyn’s little one is already very inquisitive, constantly using its nose to sniff around for snacks — which is why we gave it the name Truffle.”
Sloths are also very strong swimmers with a sleek body and thick coat that helps them quickly get through the water, according to the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web. They often spend as long as 15 hours a day sleeping.
Truffle and Marilyn live in the zoo's rainforest exhibit along with titi monkeys, tree anteaters, emperor tamarin monkeys, and red-forest tortoises. The zoo is currently open with limited admission.