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!

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Disturbing Video Shows Sloth Clinging To Tree As Loggers Chop It Down — A Sweet Dose of Reality

 In many places, taking photos with animals is a lucrative business, especially in areas with a lot of tourism. But, have you ever thought about how those animals end up in the “selfie-taking business” in the first place, or how high their quality of living could be?

The people featured in the video are illegal loggers. Approximately 80% of Peruvian timber exports can be attributed to illegal logging, and many of the loggers involved with this will kidnap and sell animals for a little extra money. Sloths are often their animals of choice because they’re so slow and thus easier to catch.

World Animal Protection is encouraging people to stop taking photos with animals if they involve hugging/holding/restraining them, if the animal is being “baited” with food, if the animal could harm you, or if the animal is outside of its natural habitat.

Final Thoughts

Although it may seem like common sense not to harm animals or take photos with them outside of their natural habitat to some people, many of us simply don’t think about the animals we’re taking selfies with. We can get so excited and wrapped up in the moment that we don’t think about how our actions affect others, particularly the animals involved with these tourist attractions.

The next time you’re considering visiting an attraction that involves animals, think about the quality of living those animals likely endure. Are they trapped in a confined cage, or stolen from their natural habitats? Remember, you vote with your dollar, so only spend money on what you truly want to support!

Much love.

 

In many places, taking photos with animals is a lucrative business, especially in areas with a lot of tourism. But, have you ever thought about how those animals end up in the “selfie-taking business” in the first place, or how high their quality of living could be?

These animals are often kidnapped from their homes and forced to take photos with tourists all day instead of living in their natural habitats. They’re rarely released back into the wild after a long day of hard work, but rather they’re kept in confined, dark spaces, forced to spend their lives with a bunch of tourists.

Video of Sloth Being Kidnapped for Tourist Photos

World Animal Protection recently released a video of a sloth being stolen from his natural habitat and kidnapped for tourist photos in Iquitos, Peru. The video shows the sloth in a tree, which is then cut down so its kidnappers can steal it.

The sloth actually clings to the tree as it’s being cut down, not letting go even though it’s starting to fall. Interestingly enough, male sloths usually stay in the same tree for the entire duration of their lives!

The sloth is then rough-handled, stuffed into a small black bag, and transported to its new life in tourism.

“This footage is extremely distressing. We know that animals stolen from the wild for use as tourist photo props are kept in filthy, cramped conditions or repeatedly baited with food, causing them severe psychological trauma,” World Animal Protection CEO Steve McIvor said in a statement.

“It is ludicrous that this is to fuel the wildlife selfie craze which has become a worldwide phenomenon. This industry is fuelled by tourists, many of whom love animals and are unaware of the terrible treatment and abhorrent conditions wild animals may endure to provide that special souvenir photo.”

You can check out the full video below:

The people featured in the video are illegal loggers. Approximately 80% of Peruvian timber exports can be attributed to illegal logging, and many of the loggers involved with this will kidnap and sell animals for a little extra money. Sloths are often their animals of choice because they’re so slow and thus easier to catch.

World Animal Protection is encouraging people to stop taking photos with animals if they involve hugging/holding/restraining them, if the animal is being “baited” with food, if the animal could harm you, or if the animal is outside of its natural habitat.

Final Thoughts

Although it may seem like common sense not to harm animals or take photos with them outside of their natural habitat to some people, many of us simply don’t think about the animals we’re taking selfies with. We can get so excited and wrapped up in the moment that we don’t think about how our actions affect others, particularly the animals involved with these tourist attractions.

The next time you’re considering visiting an attraction that involves animals, think about the quality of living those animals likely endure. Are they trapped in a confined cage, or stolen from their natural habitats? Remember, you vote with your dollar, so only spend money on what you truly want to support!

Much love.

 

 

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