An extremely cute baby sloth has a teddy bear as a surrogate mum and is being hand reared at London Zoo after its own mother stopped producing milk. The seven-week-old two-toed sloth has been named Edward after Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands, made famous by Johnny Depp, because of his large claws.
He was born to zoo residents Marilyn and Leander, but zoo staff were forced to help out when Marilyn was unable to care for her baby. Zookeeper Kelly-Anne Kelleher has been feeding Edward regularly and customised a sloth-teddy with carabiners so it could be hung from a branch – allowing the baby sloth to climb onto its back and strengthen its limbs. Normally, infant sloths would build the muscles needed to cling to branches and climb through the rainforest by holding tight to their mothers.
Kelly-Anne said: "We're bottle-feeding Edward every three hours with goat's milk, topped up with some vitamins to keep him fit and healthy. Just like with human baby formula, we heat it up until it's at room temperature, and test its warmth on our wrists – it took him a few days to get used to the bottle, but now he's hungrily suckling as soon as we give it to him. If he's feeling particularly hungry he makes a very funny noise to let us know – a sound somewhere between a squeak and a sneeze, but it's very loud and he makes his point!"