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Baby Sloth Clings to Teddy Bear for Life

ABC News Blogs

A baby sloth at a zoo in the Netherlands is clinging to a new friend for dear life. A teddy bear given to a 2-month-old sloth named Sjakie (pronounced "Sharkey") at the Burgers' Zoo is helping to provide more than just a friend to cuddle with.

Although Sjakie's mom tried to care for her baby, she didn't have enough milk for him to survive.

"After a few days we could hear sounds like he was really hungry," park manager Wineke Schoo told The World.

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Courtesy Christiaan Luttenberg

"And when we checked him out we saw that he was dehydrated so it was probably caused because the mother didn't have enough milk."

The zookeepers had to take the sloth home because he needed milk every three hours.

One of the keeper's daughters, a 2-year-old girl, had another idea. She gave him her teddy bear.

The teddy bear gave Sjakie something to hold on to, his sharp claws too dangerous to cling to a human. He had rejected all of the other stuffed options that the zookeepers had tried. The keepers believe that this teddy bear worked because of its size.

The baby sloth is expected to crawl on his own soon, but will inevitably go back to the teddy bear when he is done crawling. The little girl is proud of her contribution to Sjakie and visits him on a regular basis.

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