While sloths look too lazy to care much about their own existence, they’re, in fact, quite vulnerable and need special care. This is why Sam Trull, also known as The Mother of Sloths, co-founded The Sloth Institute located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica where she helps to rehabilitate and ultimately release rescue sloths back into the wild.
“Baby sloths get orphaned from their mothers when they are anywhere from a few hours old to a few months old,” Trull told Upworthy. “There isn’t always an obvious reason why they have been orphaned, but being in such a highly degraded environment it is likely always caused from human presence.”
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Doesn’t this little guy make you want to quit your day job and apply at the Sloth institute… Like, RIGHT NOW?!
Human encroachment is a huge threat to sloth populations
Sam Trull is well aware of that so she co-founded The Sloth Institute Costa Rica
She rescues, rehabilitates, and ultimately releases the sloths back into the wild
She uses a special “soft” release technique
It allows sloths to gradually get used to the jungle before they can survive on their own
Trull and her team has a 19-foot-cubed cage installed next to the rehabilitation site where the sloths are kept for several months until they are ready to be more independent.
When the right time comes, the cage door is left opened that the sloths would be able to move around freely. “The goal is that they eventually spend more and more time outside the cage and more and more time eating wild foods until they are 100% wild,” Trull explained.
“Sloths need trees to survive and not just any trees, but the right trees and enough trees,” said Trull
“They need a connected and healthy forest”
“For a sloth living near humans just trimming a tree can lead to death, let alone actually cutting an entire tree down”
“All things that affect every wildlife species, but especially sloths that do not have the ability to jump away from danger or run quickly across the road”
“People can help by being responsible tourists”
“When visiting a country with sloths, never pay to take a picture with one, hold one or pet one”
“Those industries steal sloths from the wild for tourists to touch and the sloths die from stress”
Sloths are not smiling, they are stressed!
“Because of the muscles in their face it leads to a permanent smile and people think that means they are happy, but if a wild sloth is near humans, they are always stressed, not happy”
“I think one of my favorite things about sloths is that they mind their own business!”
“I think there is a big misconception that because sloths are slow and lazy they are okay with captivity … but that couldn’t be further from the truth”
“They have a very curious and playful side, something most people have never and will never see, but it is definitely the most endearing thing I have ever seen”
“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?!”
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