How do your hand-rear one of the slowest moving creatures on earth, a two-toed sloth? Very slowly, of course. Zoo keepers at the Bristol Zoo Gardens in Clifton, Bristol, U.K. are doing just that with a baby sloth named Sidone. The six-week-old sloth (thought to be a female) was just 1.1 pounds at birth. To compound things, her mother, Little Cap, got ill shortly after giving birth and after receiving veterinary care was unable to produce enough milk for Sid. That’s when zoo staff intervened and have been caring for the baby sloth 24 hours a day, feeding her a combination of puppy milk formula and goat’s milk every three to four hours.
“Four keepers have been intensively caring for Sid since she was three days old and we’re thrilled that she is doing so well,” Rob Rouse, who is in charge of the zoo’s mammals, told the Belfast Telegraph. “She is strong, healthy and very inquisitive, and she loves people.”
“When she was tiny, Sid needed feeding every two hours, day and night, so we took it in turns to feed her through the night,” Rouse explained. “It has been a real team effort as we have had to work closely with each other and with the vets to look after Sid.”
Little Cap, Sid and her father, Rio, are Linnaeus two-toed sloths (otherwise known as Linn’s or Southern two-toed sloths) and are native to South American countries such as Venezuela and Brazil.