Zookeepers had “a lovely surprise” when they discovered a baby sloth as they went to deliver food to the enclosure.

The youngster was born to Flo, a three-year-old Linne’s two-toed sloth, and Reggie at Dudley Zoo and Castle (DZC) on April 4.

DZC curator Richard Brown said staff were “thrilled” at the arrival of the first baby sloth to be born at the West Midlands zoo in its 85-year history, which keepers spotted as they took Flo and Reggie their supper.

“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,” he said.

Flo arrived at the zoo in August 2020 as part of a European breeding programme.

Gestation typically lasts about six months, but keepers only realised Flo was pregnant in recent weeks when they noticed movement around her stomach.

Dudley Zoo's new sloth with mum Flo
The baby sloth will be named in the coming weeks (Dudley Zoo and Castle/PA)

Mr Brown added: “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.

“The baby seems healthy and alert as it snuggles up to mum, who is doing wonderfully and taking first-time motherhood in her stride, while dad, Reggie looks on proudly.”

The sex of the baby will be confirmed in the coming weeks, after which keepers will decide on a name.