Baby sloths, they’re just like us — well, Lua the baby sloth is, anyway.
The baby Linné’s two-toed sloth that was born at the Memphis Zoo on March 17 loves to eat, sleep and cuddle with her favorite stuffed elephant.
She’s not on exhibit yet, but she’s already stealing hearts around the world as the zoo begins to release behind-the-scenes photos and videos of her development.
“We are very excited about the birth of Lua,” said Matt Thompson, the zoo’s director of animal programs, told CBS News in an emailed statement. “This is a fascinating species and a genetically significant birth.”
This was the first successful Linné’s two-toed sloth birth at the Memphis Zoo. Marilyn, Lua’s mother, has birthed other infants in previous years, but they did not survive infancy, which is why the zoo decided Lua would be hand-reared by the zoo’s staff over the next year.
The Memphis Zoo now has three Linné’s two-toed sloths — Lua and her parents, Marilyn and Sparky.
The adult sloths, which were caught in the wild, arrived at the zoo in December 2003, making Lua a “genetically valuable animal,” according to the zoo.
Lua is definitely getting special treatment.
The tiny creature loves cuddling with her stuffed elephant. Clinging to the stuffed animal helps strengthens her limbs.
“This mimics the same behavior she would use with her mother,” the zoo explained.
She also loves to eat. Staff members take turns bottle-feeding Lua every two hours.
“We’re looking forward to this unique opportunity of hand-rearing our little one,” Thompson said.
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Source: CBS News – United States