sloths!• 24 comments •
Just outside of Puerto Viejo, is a Sloth Sanctuary, where injured sloths are rescued and rehabilitated. Sadly, due to urban sprawl, the sloths' natural habitat is diminishing. These animals have been accidentally climbing onto power lines, mistaking them for trees. Many have been run over by vehicles trying to cross the road. Also, on land, sloths are slow moving, and some local children exploit this to abuse them.
We were guided around the sanctuary by some volunteers who showed us a video of a "sloth ballet", a wild sloth with her baby (wild sloths tend to visit the grounds of the sanctuary on their own, as it is adjacent to a forest), and several adorable baby sloths:
It was really neat to get so close to the sloths. They're very docile but those claws look pretty vicious (we were told they're not). It's nice to visit animals in a setting that is non-exploitative and seems to really support their conservation.
The centre has a sloth gift shop where you can buy pretty much anything you can think of with a picture of a sloth on it. Even the restrooms had pictures of sloths:
The star of the show was an 18 year old sloth called Buttercup: