The first thing that comes to many people’s minds when they think about a sloth is, “Awwww, they’re so cute!” While yes, sloths are adorable, they are also becoming the victims of deforestation and lumber harvesting at an ever-increasing rate. They face many challenges caused by humans invading their natural habitat, and that is why Sam Trull decided that she need to take action. She left her comfortable life in the United States and moved to Costa Rica. She started an organization to help rehabilitate baby sloths who have lost their mothers back into the wild. After seeing these adorable pictures, you’re going to want to get involved yourself!
These are the tiny creatures that Sam Trull has dedicated her life to helping. Look at that face!
She left the United States to found the The Sloth Institute in Costa Rica.
This is the baby sloth that started this whole journey Sam decided to take. His name is Kermie, and he is the inspiration for the creation of the institute.
The institute uses a special “soft” release technique that allows the sloths to slowly get acclimated to the jungle, before being sent off on their own.
Who wouldn’t want to spend time with a tiny sloth in a coffee cup!
“I co-founded The Sloth Institute because I wanted to spend all of my energy and time getting my hand-raised babies back into the jungle.”
The institute has 3 main goals. The first one being the research of captive and wild sloths.
The second is the collaboration with other institutes that works with sloths around the entire world.
The last goal is to educate people, as well as generate and disseminate responsible and balanced information about sloths to the public.
Sloths need a forest to survive, it can’t be any forest though. There has to be the right kinds of trees, and the right number of them. It needs to be a healthy and connected forest.
Humans also present many challenges for sloths. When humans come into an area, they bring with them cars, dangerous power lines and stray dogs.
“All these things affect every wildlife species, but especially sloths that do not have the ability to jump away from danger or run quickly across the road.”
On top of all that, these animals are torn from their habitat and paraded around for tourists to pet. This causes great anxiety in the sloths and can even result in their death.
Being a responsible tourist can lessen the plight of these adorable animals. When visiting a country with sloths, don’t pay to take a picture with one or hold or pet them, it’s actually causing harm to these beautiful creatures.
“How can I not be drawn to species that just want to eat their leaves, relax in the sunshine and the breeze and have a good scratch?!” I couldn’t agree more.
“In addition, they have a very curious and playful side, something most people have never and will never see.”
More info: The Sloth Institute
I’ve never had the fortune of visiting a country with sloths, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. Being told that interacting with them can cause severe anxiety is definitely a bummer, but even just watching them in their natural habitat would be enough for me. These babies are absolutely adorable, and if not interacting with them means they will have a better chance to live happy, lazy lives then I am all for it.