First baby sloth arrives at Belfast Zoo

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IT may be one of the slowest and least excitable mammals around, but that doesn’t stop the birth of the first baby sloth at Belfast Zoo being pretty special, say the staff there.

Baby Luna, now just over a month old, is ready to be shown off to the world after making her arrival on December 12 last year.

Zookeepers said they are delighted with the progress of Luna, who was born to Enrique and Natja - two Linne’s two-toed sloths who arrived in Belfast Zoo from Switzerland in 2011.

Zoo curator, Andrew Hope, said, “Newborn two-toed sloths use the stomach of their mother as a cradle and are well camouflaged in her fur so it can be quite difficult to spot them. Our keepers discovered that Natja had given birth at 12pm on the 12 December 2012 and if that isn’t special enough, this is the first sloth to be born at Belfast Zoo and in Ireland! It is fair to say that we are ‘over the moon’ with Luna’s arrival.”

The sloth family won’t be back on show in the Rainforest House until the summer when the weather improves. With 20 hours a day spent asleep, and most of the remainder spent motionless, it is fair to say the sloth species is adept at conserving their energy.

Anyone who wishes to get involved in the care of the sloths at Belfast Zoo can visit, email or call 028 9077 6277 extension 229.