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ZSL London Zoo Celebrates the Birth of a Sloth Cub

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 6, 2020 12:30 pm

zsl london zoo sloth birth

A sloth cub clings to mum at London Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Keepers at ZSL London Zoo have shared their joy after discovering a baby two-toed sloth clinging to mum Marilyn on the morning of Thursday August 13th.

While keepers had been anticipating the birth of a baby sloth they thought Marilyn still had a few weeks to go in her pregnancy. They have selected the name Truffles for the baby. The father is called Leander.

ZSL sloth keeper Marcel McKinley explained: “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.”

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A sloth cub clings to mum at London Zoo

Video Credit: ZSL London Zoo

After spending time bonding in the treetops of the Rainforest Life exhibit at London Zoo the pair have recently started coming down closer to the visitor viewing areas allowing them to see the sloth cub.

Currently they have not been able to determine the gender of the sloth cub. This will be found out through a DNA analysis of the cub’s hair in the near future. Regardless of gender the cub will be considered an important addition to the European Studbook (ESB), part of a coordinated breeding programme for two-toed sloths.

At London Zoo the sloth family can be found in the city's only living rainforest which they share with tree anteaters, emperor tamarins, titi monkeys and red-footed tortoises.

Learn more about ZSL London Zoo on their website – ZSL London Zoo

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