A two-toed baby sloth named Truffle is the newest arrival at ZSL London Zoo.
Native to the rainforests of South America, sloths are famous for being slow-moving. However, eager to make an appearance, Truffle surprised keepers by arriving a few weeks earlier than expected.
Born to parents Marilyn and Leander on Thursday 13th August, the tiny newborn was discovered by keepers on their early morning rounds clinging to mum, who had delivered the healthy baby the night before. Vets are due to take a hair DNA sample to establish whether Truffle is a boy or a girl – (we will keep you posted on the results!)
ZSL sloth keeper Marcel McKinley said: “We knew Marilyn was coming to the end of her pregnancy but thought she had a little longer to go as we’d not seen any of her usual tell-tale signs – such as heading to a cosy corner or off-show area for privacy.
“But 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.
“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,” explained Marcel. “At three-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.”
Visitors to London Zoo will now be able to see Truffle and Marilyn in the only living rainforest in the city – a lush, tropical habitat, heated to 28C all year round, which the family shares with titi monkeys, tree anteaters, emperor tamarin monkeys and red-footed tortoises.
For further information on visiting ZSL London Zoo go to www.zsl.org