Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment a female sloth carries its newborn cub on its back after giving birth in a public square.
Residents of the city of Teofilo Otoni, in the south-eastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, were surprised to see the sloth giving birth on the morning of 28th October.
The birth took place in Tiradentes Square, in the city centre, where a group of eight to 10 sloths have decided to live far away from their typical habitat of tropical rain forests.
Biologist Janaina Mendonca Pereira filmed the moment and shared the footage with Newsflash.
She told Newsflash: “Approximately two months ago, two females had cubs, and recently, we were surprised that one of those females had a newborn cub, which you can see in the video, still with the placental remains.
“We were very surprised because it’s very rare. The time between one baby and the other was very short, so it was probably a simultaneous pregnancy.”
Janaina, who is also the Municipal Secretary for the Environment, told Newsflash that up to 30 sloths once inhabited the urban square.
The 38-year-old said: “It is not known how these sloths came to set up in the square: if they were already here and, because of deforestation and urbanisation, they ended up in the remaining trees in the square, or if someone brought them here a long time ago.”
Known for their slow movements, sloths spend the majority of their time hanging upside down from trees. They are found throughout tropical South and Central America.
Janaina and her team hope to resume monitoring the sloths after their work was put on hold by the lockdown.
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