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Lions get World Cup fever at London Zoo

As the football-supporting community prepares for the opening of the World Cup in Brazil, even the lions at London Zoo have got involved in the festivities.

An Asian lioness at London Zoo plays with football on the opening day of the World Cup.
An Asian lioness at London Zoo plays with football on the opening day of the World Cup. Credit: Justin Tallis/PA Wire
Lionesses at the zoo appear to be supporting England in the tournament.
Lionesses at the zoo appear to be supporting England in the tournament. Credit: Justin Tallis/PA Wire
Lioness prepares to lunge at ball.
Another lioness steps back to take the penalty... or just prepares to lunge at the ball. Credit: Justin Tallis/PA Wire

World Cup 2014 kicks off in Brazil: Latest updates

First baby sloth is born at London Zoo

The surprise baby sloth.
The surprise baby sloth. Credit: London Zoo

London Zoo has announced the arrival of its first ever baby sloth.

Usually it takes sloths up to 10 years to reproduce but 'sneaky' couple Marilyn and Leander surprised staff by mating in just six months.

A baby sloth, the latest arrival at London Zoo.
A baby sloth, the latest arrival at London Zoo. Credit: London Zoo/PA

The new arrival has yet to be named as it is still not known what sex it is.

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Anteater to be given own minder at London Zoo

Tammy the anteater is being given her own minder to stop her from being trampled by late-night visitors to ZSL London Zoo this summer.

The 12-year-old tree-climbing anteater is famed for her friendly disposition and fondness for ambling around the public walkways of her exhibit after hours.

Tammy the tree-climbing anteater who is to be given her own minder at London Zoo. Credit: ZSL London Zoo/PA Wire

But with naturally poor eyesight, she has a tendency for clumsiness, prompting the zoo to take special measures to steer her out of trouble during a series of late-night events.

Keeper Caroline Westlake said: "Tree-climbing anteaters are most active in the mornings and evenings, making Zoo Lates the perfect opportunity for visitors to see Tammy scaling the branches and investigating her home.

Zookeepers will be helping Tammy steer past any errant feet in the free-roaming exhibit. Credit: ZSL London Zoo/PA Wire

"To make sure she can go about her business exploring Rainforest Life, we're providing Tammy with her very own minder to gently guide her around our evening visitors. We're now keeping our fingers crossed that the A-list treatment won't result in any diva-like behaviour!"

Zoo Lates sees thousands of post-work revellers descend on ZSL London Zoo for an adults-only Friday night out.

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London

London Zoo's new arrival

Anvil the baby colobus monkey
Anvil the baby colobus monkey Credit: Joanne Iredale

A baby colobus monkey has been born at London Zoo.

Standing out against mum Sophia’s raven hair, two-week-old colobus monkey Anvil has a completely white coat which will eventually darken as she gets older.

It is named after the small bone in the inner ear, “Anvil” is joining family members Maxilla , Bones and Radius who, following the Zoo’s tradition, were also christened after parts of the skeleton.

Clayderman encourages endangered tortoises to mate

World-renowned pianist Richard Clayderman held a 'private concert' today to serenade endangered giant tortoises to try and get them to mate.

Pianist Richard Clayderman plays the piano
Pianist Richard Clayderman plays the piano with a captive audience Credit: PA Wire

Clayderman, whose track 'Ballade Pour Adeline' is one of the biggest selling classical recordings of all time, played the famous tune on a grand piano transported to London Zoo's giant tortoise enclosure.

His performance comes a week before Valentines Day
His performance comes a week before Valentines Day Credit: PA Wire

The zoo's Galapagos tortoises, 70-year-old Dirk and his three female companions, Dolores, 13, and Dolly and Polly, both 17 looked suitably impressed with their private recital. The hope is the romantic music may make them more affectionate.

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