STAFF at Dudley Zoo and Castle have celebrated the birth of the zoo's first baby sloth.

Mum Flo, gave birth to her first youngster on April 4, with the arrival coming as a surprise to staff who spotted the baby as they delivered the pair of Linne’s two-toed sloths their supper.

DZC Curator Richard Brown said: “We’re so thrilled to announce the safe arrival of a baby sloth to Flo and Reggie.

“With all our new arrivals over the last few months, this is certainly turning into a year of firsts for DZC, as it’s our first baby sloth in our 85-year history.

“We know the news will be as exciting for our visitors as it is for our staff as we’re very aware our pair of sloths are our most popular animals on site.

Dudley News: Flo and her new baby. Pic - DZCFlo and her new baby. Pic - DZC

“The baby seems healthy and alert as it snuggles up to mum, who is doing wonderfully."

Three-year old mum, Flo, arrived at the zoo in August 2020, to join six-year-old male, Reggie as part of a European studbook breeding programme, but during the last few months keepers had an inkling Flo was pregnant.

Richard added: “Unlike other species, it was difficult to guess if Flo was pregnant. "Gestation is typically around six months long, but over recent weeks keepers began to notice movements in Flo’s stomach and we managed to confirm the pregnancy with a faecal sample.

“It was a lovely surprise for staff to discover the baby, especially as Flo wasn’t showing signs of being in labour during the day."

Keepers are now thinking of names for the newborn and its sex will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Native to the tropical forests of northern Southern America, sloths are decreasing in number due to lost habitat and their vulnerability to predators.