Teddy bear helping raise a sloth in London Zoo
A zookeeper in London is playing the role of mother to a newborn baby sloth.
Edward is a seven-week-old two-toed sloth whose mother stopped producing milk, leaving her unable to care for him.
So, Kelly-Anne Kelleher, with the Zoological Society of London, stepped up to the plate. With a little stuffed help.
Kelleher outfitted a teddy sloth from the London Zoo's gift shop with carabiners so as to hang it from branches. This allows Edward to climb on the toy and strengthen his limbs and keep up the muscles he would have normally developed holding onto his mother.
Photos of Edward and his teddy:
The two-toed sloth, native to South America, has a reputation for being a bit slow. And Edward is true to form--Kelleher typically has to rouse the little guy from a deep slumber before bottle-feeding him vitamin-infused goat's milk.
But he doesn't always need to be dislodged from dreamland to eat. Kelleher said, "If he's feeling particularly hungry he makes a very funny noise to let us know – a sound somewhere between a squeak and a sneeze, but it's very loud and he makes his point!"
Named for the titular character in Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands," he certainly won't have metallic appendages, but his claws will grow up to four inches long, allowing him to deftly maneuver the tree-tops and branches of his rainforest-like environment.
See more on the adorable baby sloth in the video below: