How One Girl and Her Teddy Bear Saved a Baby Sloth

Jill Harness

When baby sloths eat, they cling tightly to their mothers. The instinct is so strong that the youngsters won't eat if they aren't cuddling. Unfortunately that also means that when a mother sloth at a zoo can't produce enough milk to feed her baby, handlers have to come up with a creative solution to ensure the little one has something to cling to while it receives its bottle.

At a zoo in the Netherlands, this recently became a very serious problem when keepers presented the baby with a variety of plush toys for it to cuddle and the little guy refused every single one. Fortunately, the two-year old daughter of one of the zookeepers was kind enough to offer up her own teddy bear. The sloth finally started hugging the bear and accepting its food.

Illustrative image of an orphaned sloth with a teddy bear courtesy of ndanger's Flickr stream.