By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans
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Videographer / director: ZooBorns
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
The female infant - named Lua, meaning “moon” in Portuguese - was born on 17 March to parents Marilyn and Sparky and is the first successful birth of a Linne's two-toed sloth at the zoo.
Mother Marilyn has birthed other infants that did not survive infancy, so zookeepers decided to hand-rear the new arrival to give her the best chance of survival.
Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, said: “We are very excited about the birth of Lua.This is a fascinating species and a genetically significant birth.
“We’re looking forward to this unique opportunity of hand-rearing our little one.”
When staff are not holding the delicate sloth, she clings to a stuffed elephant to help strengthen her limbs.
The elephant also allows her to mimic the same behaviour she would exhibit while being reared by her mother.
Sloths are arboreal - meaning tree-dwelling - creatures and spend the majority of their time upside down.
Baby Lua is not yet eating solid foods, instead staff are bottle-feeding her every two hours, which will continue for the next month.
Staff will continue to hand-rear her for the next year until she is ready to rejoin her family.