Gordon the sloth, who lives in Drusillas Park in Sussex, developed a very strong attachment to Amelia Jones when the two of them first met two years ago.
Gordon began acting differently with Amelia than he did among the rest of the keepers, and the two became unlikely friends from that point on.
Amelia feels that it was her worry about dealing with sloths that prompted Gordon to demonstrate love towards her in an effort to put her at rest, and that this was the catalyst for Gordon’s actions.
As a result, their friendship evolved, and now Gordon won’t even get out of bed until he’s been ‘cradled like a baby’ by his favorite zoo keeper and wants Amelia to take him on a tour of the zoo so that they may make the most of their time together.
“When I initially began working with our sloths, I was a little afraid by them since they are such strong creatures, and I used to maintain my distance from them,” Amelia said.
‘Gordon lives with our hand-reared sloth, Flash, who is quite confident in human company, and who often behaved as though he was in charge while I was present.
The attitude Gordon adopted with me, though, was quite delicate; he seemed to recognize that I was apprehensive and would quietly approach where I was working, stare at me lovingly, and calmly watch me work.”
It was one morning when she was in a hurry and barely had enough time to bring him swiftly to his cage that she realized she had unwittingly established a pattern with him.
In addition to their morning cuddles, Gordon and Amelia’s particular friendship has developed into something that is now an essential part of their daily routine.
“Gordon is a very wonderful, beautiful child, and it’s a tremendous joy to work with sloths, so to be able to see the unique bond we have formed is a true honor,” Amelia said.