The Costa Rican institute that saves orphaned sloths
Posted on 22/05/2016 146 shares

NatureCosta Rica

Twitter Facebook 146 shares

It's almost impossible not to fall in love with these docile, lazy and incredibly cute creatures. One volunteering couple fell so hard that they decided to open the Sloth Institute Costa Rica, a refuge which works to save baby sloths left without a mother.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Love sloths? Keep your distance
    Love sloths? Keep your distance

    Welcome to the Sloth Institute, buried deep in Costa Rica's Manuel Antonio National Park.

    theslothinstitutecostarica/facebook
  • Rehabilitation programme
    Rehabilitation programme

    The non-profit and its volunteers work to save baby sloths who have lost their mothers, raising them and eventually releasing them back into the wild.

    theslothinstitutecostarica/facebook
  • Protecting baby sloths
    Protecting baby sloths

    Young sloths are particularly vulnerable without the protection of their mother.

    theslothinstitutecostarica/facebook
  • Very few natural defences
    Very few natural defences

    Their defences against predators are limited to their long claws, used mostly for climbing, and the horrendous smell of their fur, which acts as a breeding ground for algae and fungi.

    theslothinstitutecostarica/facebook
  • The Sloth Institute
    The Sloth Institute

    Sam Trull and Seda Sejud, who founded and now head the institution, are currently promoting an "adopt a sloth" initiative.

    theslothinstitutecostarica/facebook
1

Deep in the heart of Costa Rica's Manuel Antonio National Park, on the country's Pacific coast, you'll find the Sloth Institute. The non-profit and its volunteers work to save baby sloths who have lost their mothers, raising them and eventually releasing them back into the wild.

Young sloths are particularly vulnerable without the protection of their mother. With a maximum speed of 200 metres per hour, the animals' defences against predators are limited to their long claws, used mostly for climbing, and the horrendous smell of their fur which acts as a breeding ground for algae and fungi.

Despite their general helplessness in the face of predators and their very low rate of reproduction, sloths are far from an endangered species. The only exception is the Panama pygmy sloth, endemic to Isla Escudo de Veraguas, a small island off the coast of Panama.

Sam Trull and Seda Sejud, who founded and now head the institution, are currently promoting an "adopt a sloth" initiative to promote their non-profit all over the world. Fans can choose a sloth to sponsor on their website, helping to rehabilitate and release it back into the wild.

But they warn that the institute is not yet open to the public due to the nature of the work they are doing. "The Sloth Institute (TSI)'s vision is to expand scientific knowledge and education about the sloth to enhance their well-being and assure their conservation here and on this planet," reads their website.

"Sloths are not available to be seen by the public as it is in their best interest to have as little human contact as possible."

The organisation is hoping to a put a volunteer programme into practice by 2017. Keep an eye on the Sloth Institute website for more information.

RELATED ARTICLES

16 photos that prove Costa Rica is the most beautiful country in the world
Where in the world to meet amazing animals