Volunteer with Sloths

Famous the world over for their sluggish nature and comical facial expressions, sloths are revered amongst animal enthusiasts. These slow moving creatures are coming under increasing pressure in their natural rainforest homes due to rapid deforestation, resulting in a loss of habitat and enhanced exposure to predators. Unless something changes soon, sloth numbers will continue to fall. It is for this reason that volunteering with sloths could be a vital and rewarding way to spend your holiday!Sloths are herbivorous mammals that have been living in the forests of the Americas for over 60 million years, and here at The Great Projects we can offer you the chance to volunteer with them at a rescue and rehabilitation centre deep in the Costa Rican jungle.

SLOTHS AT A GLANCE

ENDANGERED STATUS

Not endangered/endangered

NUMBER REMAINING IN THE WILD

Dependent on species

ENDEMIC REGION

The Americas

HOW ENDANGERED ARE SLOTHS?

There are two different types of sloth and six different species. Of those, the pygmy sloth is critically endangered and the maned sloth is vulnerable. The other species are all classed as of least concern, but unless action is taken sooner rather than later this could change as deforestation continues to accelerate in the regions within which the sloths live.

Pygmy sloth numbers are thought to be as low as 100 and this is an indication of what could happen to the other species if action is not taken now.

THREATS SLOTHS ARE FACING

The health of the world’s sloth population is entirely dependent on the health of the world’s rainforests and this symbiotic relationship could prove disastrous to the sloths if deforestation continues at its current rates.

Sloths need forests full of trees to survive, and without them they become exposed to the forest floor where they are vulnerable to the many predators that share the forests with them. Sloths are defenceless to fend off predators when this happens, and that is why trees are so crucial to their survival.

FAST FACTS
  • Even though the two different types of sloths are named the two-toed sloth and three toed sloth, they all actually have three toes! Their names are actually in reference to the claws on their front limbs!
  • We all know sloths move very slowly, but did you know that on land they move at just 2 meters per minute? They are slightly faster up in the trees where they can move at 3 meters a minute!
  • Sloths have very long tongues, and some can stretch up to 10-12 inches out of their mouths!

Projects DO MORE

 

Sloths hold the secret to disease-free living.

Sloths are an environmentally self-contained eco-system.  Randy – a wild sloth that broke his arm after fighting with another male and falling 60ft from his tree. He had titanium plates screwed into his arm to hold the bones together, and was later released into the wild. Unfortunately, 8 months later the same incident happened again, only this time his arm was infected and would not heal. We eventually took the difficult decision to amputate his arm in order to save his life. He now lives happily here with us at the sanctuary, albeit with just one arm!
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Amazingly, before Randy’s first broken arm, he had already formed a special relationship with sanctuary founder Judy Arroyo. He was again fighting with another wild sloth in the sanctuary grounds and again, he fell from his tree. This time, Judy saw it happen and saw that he was about to fall onto concrete – this would have been certain death. She rushed forwards to catch him and the impact broke both of the bones in her arm (also requiring titanium plates) – Randy was perfectly fine after she had broken his fall,
and he happily climbed back up the tree….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR57BNpxDtUdefault