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MELBOURNE (CBSMiami) – There is no creature quite like a sloth and there is probably no creature quite as cute as a baby sloth and now a Florida zoo is showing off the adorable critter.
The Brevard Zoo, in Melbourne, greeted the new furry face on Wednesday, October 17.
The still unnamed baby sloth was born to a Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth named Tango.
The baby, which is the first sloth born at the Zoo, did not remain with the mother and will be hand-raised.
“When we found the baby away from Tango, we tried to reunite them,” said Lauren Hinson, a curator of animals at the Zoo. “But the new mother was not nursing, nor did she show interest in the newborn. Tango is a first-time mother whose inexperience likely led her to not care for the little one.”
Hinson has stepped in to provide round-the-clock care for the sloth, who is fed goat’s milk every two and a half hours. Because newborn sloths are inclined to cling onto their mother, animal care staff gave the baby its choice of materials to hold onto; ironically, the little one chose a sloth blanket from the Zoo’s gift shop.
Hinson believes the animal care staff will be taking care of the baby sloth for at least five months, before they even begin the weaning process.
The youngster, who weighed 11.2 ounces at birth, is also the offspring of a male sloth named Dustin.
The zoo does not know yet if it is a boy or a girl because laboratory testing is sometimes needed to determine the sex of sloths.
Notorious for their slow-paced lifestyle, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths face challenges from habitat loss and the exotic pet trade in central and South America.