First baby sloth born at Bristol Zoo in almost 10 years

Bristol Zoo is celebrating the birth of the first sloth at the attraction in almost a decade.

Mum, Trixie, gave birth in the enclosure she shares with the youngster's dad, Rio, on 29 March.

The tiny baby came into the world upside down - which is normal for sloths - and will spend most of its life that way, eating and sleeping. The adults tend to sleep up to 18 hours a day.

Mammals Team Leader at the zoo Al Toyne said: “It’s almost 10 years since a sloth has been born at Bristol Zoo. It’s doing really well and we are all delighted. 

“People are fascinated by sloths because of how they look and how they live, it’s great that we have reopened so now people can come and see it for themselves.”

This little one is clearly exhausted by all that feeding. Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

At the moment, the young Linne’s two-toed sloth is about the weight of a tin of tomato soup and slightly shorter than a school ruler. It is not yet known what gender it is.

Al Toyne said: “This is an important birth because it helps to maintain the sloth population and to ensure its future.”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature states the numbers of two-toed sloths are declining, mainly due to loss of their rainforest habitat in their native South America. 

They move very slowly so they are often unable to escape if an area of forest is felled for agriculture or timber. They are also hunted in Brazil for their meat.

And baby makes three - Bristol Zoo now has three of the species, which is threatened by the destruction of its rainforest habitat. Credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo is part of a European zoo co-ordinated breeding programme for Linne's two-toed sloths and is now home to three of the animals - 19-year-old Rio, eight-year-old Trixie and the - as yet unnamed - new arrival.

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