A zoo has announced the birth of their first sloth, but the cutie is so shy it doesn’t want to leave its ‘snuggly blankie.’
The tiny sloth, which has not been named yet, was abandoned by its mother, so staff at Brevard Zoo have been hand-rearing it.
But it is so shy it refuses to let go the comfort blanket, which acts as a surrogate mother.
Sloths are notoriously difficult to sex, so staff do not yet know the gender of their newest arrival.
Staff at the zoo, in Florida, USA, wrapped the 11 ounce baby in a gift shop blanket and started feeding it goats milk every two-and-a-half hours.
Sloth babies are inclined to cling onto their mother, so the young sloth has grown attached to the comfort the blanket provides – and is too shy to leave it.
Famed for their slow-paced lifestyle and clingy nature – staff have found the baby hard to prize from his new cover.
Animal curator Lauren Hinson said: “When we found the baby away from his mother Tango, we tried to reunite them.
“But the first-time mother mother was not nursing, nor did she show interest in the newborn due to her inexperience.”
Lauren will be providing ‘substantial care’ for five months before they begin the weaning process for the two-toed sloth – as long as they can prize away their ‘snuggly blankie.’
The newborn’s gender is unknown at the time as laboratory testing is sometimes needed to determine the sex of sloths.
Brevard Zoo is not-for-profit organisation that is home to more than 900 animals representing 195 species from all over the world.
Other zoos have made furry vests for staff to wear, which allows sloth babies to cling to the carers.
By Daniel Hammond
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