Teddy helps baby sloth get stronger

  • 31/07/2015
Teddy helps baby sloth get stronger

By 3 News online staff

A baby sloth is getting help from his soft toy likeness to make him strong enough to cling to trees.

Edward the seven-week-old two-toed sloth was born at London Zoo to parents Marilyn and Leander, but needed a bit of help after his mum stopped producing milk and was unable to care for him.

To help Edward, named after Johnny Depp's cult character Edward Scissorhands, zookeeper Kelly-Anne Kelleher adapted a teddy bear with carabiners so it could be hung from a tree branch.

Normally, Edward would cling to his mum to gain strength, but in lieu of that the bear is being used for him to get tougher.

Edward's claws will eventually grow up to four inches meaning he'll be able to cling to and climb through the treetops.

Vets have completely taken over the care for Edward, including bottle-feeding him every three hours with goat milk with vitamins to keep him 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," Ms Kelleher says.

They know when he's hungry because he makes a noise "somewhere between a squeak and a sneeze".

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