Six-month-old Alia Heckathorn shares naps, cuddles and her mother with her best friend, a 10-month-old sloth named Daisy.
The unlikely pair has been together since Alia was born.
Julia Heckathorn, a writer and wildlife rehabilitator, and her husband had been looking for a sloth to expand their educational endeavors when they learned they were having a baby. They ended up adopting Daisy on the same day Alia came home from the hospital.
"Alia was two weeks late in arriving, and there was only one day we were able to have Daisy travel to us due to the weather warming up for the summer,” Heckathorn told the New York Daily News. “So I believe that the events happened as God planned them. I guess he knew we could handle the work of two babies at the same time, and that it would be great for them to grow up together.”
Alia and Daisy spend their days playing together, napping together and occasionally even sporting the same pink headband.
“When Alia and Daisy sit next to each other, Daisy sniffs Alia while Alia nuzzles into Daisy’s soft fur,” Heckathorn said. “They are so sweet together.”
But even though the pair get along well, Heckathorn said she always supervises their interactions.
"I'm always there to make sure that everyone is safe," she said. "Daisy is still an animal, and they are still both babies, so you never know if one day one of the babies will decide to get feisty."
In addition to Daisy, the Heckathorns also have a kangaroo named Boomeroo, an anteater named Noche, two sugar gliders and a cat named Larry.
All of the animals are characters in Heckathorns’ books, “Search for the Hidden Clover,” an adventure series that teaches children about wildlife and the environment.
"The look on the school children's faces as they meet their favorite book characters in real life are priceless. These are memories that will stick with those children for a lifetime.”
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