2° International Sloth Festival 2022, Costa Rica

2° International Sloth Festival 2022, Costa Rica

Last year we launched the first-ever International Sloth Festival. In spite of some rough beginnings and the remnants of Covid restrictions, we had a lot more people than we expected and the event itself was awesome!

This year we decided to go even bigger. We teamed up with the locally owned Wolaba Productions and worked with the amazing staff of our host venue, Selina Puerto Viejo, to bring you the second International Sloth Festival 2022: bigger, better, and even more inspired!

A perfect place

The location was everything we could have asked for the festival: a beautiful patch of forest near the beach, right next to Luna and Luiza’s territory, with a very appropriate sculpture of a sloth already in place. The weather was wet the day before (because, you know, rainforest) but Saturday dawned fair and blue, and we arrived by 7 am to set up tables, tents, booths, signs, and the hundred other little details needed for an epic day.


sloth fest 2022
Photo: Mira Meijer


Imagine what a pleasant surprise it was to discover that our first guests were not our enthusiastic human supporters, but several sloths themselves! Four of our slow, furry friends joined us for a festival in their honor and supervised the arrival of our vendors, artisans, and fellow conservation organizations by 9 am.


sloth fest sloth selina
Photo: Mira Meijer


Can you spot the sloth? Photo Mira Meijer

The Sloth Festival 2022 begins

By 10 am we had our first (human) visitors. Participants from all over the world came to celebrate with us! In addition to everyone from Costa Rica, we had people from countries as diverse as Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and more!


sloth fest 2022 sloco booth
Photo: Mira Meijer


In total the Sloth Festival received more than 400 guests this year. Everyone was delighted by our resident sloths, who were for some participants the first sloths they had ever seen!


People spot the sloths in the trees. Photo Mira Meijer


The highlights of the Festival

Suzi Eszterhas exhibition

Our much-celebrated trustee and awarded photographer Suzi Eszterhas presented a carefully curated selection of pictures in her exhibition “The Lives of Urban Sloths”. These 10 stunning photographs depict sloths found in the most dangerous, inconvenient, or simply bizarre locals; usually driven there by habitat disturbance, deforestation, or urbanization. Sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, and always moving, her work captures the reality of how urgently sloths need our help.


sloth fest 2022 suzi eszterhas
“The mom at the café” . Photo Mira Meijer

Connected Gardens + Community Conservation chat

Connected Gardens manager Francisco Rodríguez opened up the 11 am Q&A about the importance of habitat connectivity. He talked about how we can use reforestation and sloth crossings to enable canopy connectivity, the importance of community conservation, and the involvement of social movements in protecting the habitats of wild creatures.


sloth fest 2022
Photo: Mira Meijer


“Saving sloths together”, Toucan Rescue Ranch talk

Speaking of epic, our colleagues from the Toucan Rescue Ranch drove SEVEN HOURS from the other side of Costa Rica, braving dangerous mountain roads and crazy traffic to join us at Sloth Fest. The TRR is a rescue and rehabilitation center that works with many animals, including sloths. Their education coordinator Stephanie Valle Cubero and sloth veterinarian Andrés Sáenz Bräutigam gave a wonderful presentation about their sloth rescue, rehabilitation, and release program.


sloth fest 2022
Photo Mira Meijer

The Urban Sloth Project talk

Against the very appropriate backdrop of “The Lives of Urban Sloths” exhibition, USP lead José Guzman gave a wonderful overview of the Urban Sloth Project and why we need to study the boundaries of urban/wilderness areas, and the lives of the sloths that call these frontiers home.

Salsa Brava to Cocles guided walk

One of the most unique presentations at the Second International Sloth Festival was a guided walk along the Brava-Cocles trail, a footpath that runs along the beach in front of the festival (and right through Luna and Luiza’s territories!)


Informative signs about sloths natural history and species. Photo: Mira Meijer


This path used to be the only link between the scattered communities of this area of the South Caribbean, until the comparatively recent addition of the road in the 90’s. In this 30-minute tour, Francisco explained the importance of the trail and pointed out the many animals that can be seen in the shady canopy above, including several sloths!

Searching for sloths with Jose

Everyone loves sloths, and everyone loves radio antennas! People of every age got the chance to become sloth scientists for a day and learn how we use VHF radio equipment to monitor sloths in the USP. For this demonstration, José took groups of sloth science enthusiasts to monitor Luna and Luiza while explaining the methodology and science behind the Urban Sloth project. He also gave them a few pro tips that we’ve learned in the year or more that we’ve been tracking Luna.


sloth fest 2022
Our volunteer Faith helping children to spot Luna. Photo: Mira Meijer


Kukula Kids’ Club

What would a festival dedicated to conservation be without a space for the people who will inherit that future? Our Kids’ Corner (a.k.a. Kukula Kids’ Club) was set up with a variety of games, an art space for exploring creativity, a photo booth, a photo workshop exhibition with Girls Who Click, and of course our famous mascot Siesta.


sloth fest kukula kids club
The Kukula Kids’ Club by Mira Meijer


Kassandra also took the kids on a sloth search using our radio equipment and tracked down a stuffed sloth we had hidden earlier. Here come some future sloth scientists!


sloth fest 2022 kukula kids
Kassandra with the Kukula CLub’s kids. Photo: José Guzman

Scat Dog demonstration

SloCo’s newest project, the groundbreaking Sloth Census using a scat detection dog, was also debuted for the festival! Tamara took our SSD dog Keysha out for a demonstration of her olfactory skills. To show how well she was able to find sloth poop, Keysha not only tracked down the correct training blocks with sloth poop hidden inside them, but she also tracked down some wild sloth scat for us! Go Keysha!


sloth fest scat dog
Keysha showing her detection skills. Photo Mira Meijer


Soon now we’ll be able to conduct the first-ever accurate sloth population census, which we anticipate will have huge effects on the science and policy of sloth conservation.


scat dog sloth fest 2022 keysha
Keysha and Tamara. Photo Mira Meijer

Puppies to adopt!

Dogs that don’t know how to interact with sloths are unfortunately one of the main reasons sloths are hurt and end up in rescue centers. Of course, we love dogs and want them to get along with wildlife, so we work with Puerto Viejo Dogs to promote responsible ownership and help fund spay and neuter clinics to help reduce the stray dog population.


Talamanca Cats booth . Photo: Marlies


Puerto Viejo Dogs also helps adopt out puppies in need of families, and we are happy to say that two of the three puppies they brought to the Sloth Festival found homes that very day!

Local Market and freebies

There are so many amazing artists in the Puerto Viejo area! We were proud to be able to offer a venue for some of our local artists and crafts makers: indigenous handcrafts, bags, jewelry, homemade chocolate and cakes, art pieces, and even hair braiding! The perfect gift, accessory or souvenir, everything had that unique flair of the South Caribbean.


free trees sloth fest 2022


Additionally, our Connected Gardens project was there giving away free stickers, postcards, and tree saplings to anyone who wanted to promote sloth conservation and make their property more sloth friendly.

200 Bridges

We have achieved Sloth Crossing n° 200! At 4:30 in the afternoon, our pro climber Dayber went up and installed our 200th bridge right here on the Sloth Fest property at Selina! It was a great accomplishment for us to reach this important milestone on the Sloth Crossing Project, and it was really special to be able to share this moment with everyone at the festival and our sloth community.


sloth fest sloth crossing bridge
Dayber installing the 200th Sloth Crossing. Photo Mira Meijer

The great sloth raffle

Every year we have a fundraiser to put together our Sloth Raffle with more than 20 unique, interesting, and downright useful prizes! From art pieces to professional photo sessions, to an excursion for two to go rafting in one of the most scenic rivers of the world, this year we sold 326 tickets and raised $ 640!


Raffle time! Photo: Mira Meijer


Live music and shows 

Conservation and education don’t have to be dire and dry, the Sloth Festival 2022 turned on the beat and got down to boogie with DJ Cassia, who kept us going with his tribal tropical techno, and we finished off with Music of Guarumo, a local band with a more than appropriate name for a Sloth Festival, as guarumos are one of the main trees eaten by three-fingered sloths! The music of the Guarumo was accompanied by the girls of Fyre Space, who provided an astounding fire dance show.


sloth fest fire space
Guarumo and Fire Space. Photo Mira Meijer


The Sloth Festival is not only a place to celebrate and raise awareness about the world’s slowest mammals, but it is also a space for local organizations, conservationists, and social groups to connect and share experiences. After all, we’re stronger together, and we know that working side by side with other organizations is the way to protect wildlife and communities.

Also at the festival this year were:

Ara Manzanillo –  A project dedicated to the protection and reintroduction of the great green macaw, a highly endangered parrot with only 1500 individuals left in the wild.

Turtle Rescue Cahuita – An organization that promotes the protection and survival of sea turtles and local native wildlife.

El Puente – A social organization dedicated to assisting indigenous communities with education and supplies. They are our partners with the Kukula Kids’ Club!

Asociación Talamanqueña de Ecoturismo y Conservación ATEC – A non-profit agency that provides responsible tourism work with local tour guides.

Coral Conservation –  An organization located in the southern Caribbean of Costa Rica with the aim of protecting, preserving, and restoring the coral reef in the area.

Puerto Viejo Dogs and Talamanca Cats – Another animal relief effort dedicated to the responsible adoption of dogs and cats.

One Love Children Foundation – an organization that helps local children.

Planet Conservation – A conservation organization dedicated to recycling, education, social issues, and wildlife conservation.

Tucan Rescue Ranch – One of the biggest and more famous rescue facilities in the country, TRCC rescues, rehabilitates, and releases injured wildlife.


sloth fest 2022
Early in the morning, we started to receive the first visitors. Photo: Mira Meijer

A great Slothtober and Sloth Festival 2022

Without a doubt, this was the greatest Slothtober we’ve ever had! Streamers, gamers, content creators, organizations, partners, colleagues, sloth lovers, and supporters, everybody came together to celebrate sloths, and we couldn’t ask for more.

Thank you to everybody who made the Second International Sloth Festival an out of the park success-we can’t wait to see you next year!


sloth fest 2022
Some SloCo Staff


And finally, a special thanks to our sponsors who participated with donations or raffle prizes: Exploradores OutdoorsSloth Toes, La Costa de Papito, UP House Costa Rica, Santa Marea, Life Culture Travel EtnotourismNamuwoki Lodge, Cariblue Beach and Resort, Geckoes Lodge, Playa 506La Kukula Lodge, Casas del Caribe, Tasty Waves, Madre Selva Hostel, AmaSer Yoga, Biriba Cocles, Reggae Roots CR, Vector 4 impresiones, Libreria Caribe, Cho.co, Blue Youth, Reggaeland, Pura Bali, Jungle Cuts by Erica, Heladeria 8 nanni, Café Rio Negro, Samoa Boutique, CaribeArtCR, Passion Fruit, Curry Kingdom, One Love Wolaba.

Why are sloths one of the cutest animals in the world?

Why are sloths one of the cutest animals in the world?

Why are sloths so darn cute? Is it the little button eyes, the round, fuzzy head, or perhaps the adorable pink tongue? Whatever it is, there’s no denying it: sloths are so cute they just make your heart melt.




“Cute” is a word that means different things to different people. Scientists who study such things have shown lots of pictures to people to see what kind of faces ranked highest on the cuteness scale, and it turns out that we like faces that have big round heads, large eyes, and small chins. Other features might be called beautiful, lovely, or pretty, but it is usually these traits that make someone cute.



Why are sloths cute?

We find other animals besides baby humans quite adorable also. Many mammals share these features, and none more so than our domesticated friends, especially kittens and puppies. It’s possible that domesticated cats and dogs evolved especially cute offspring so that any nearby humans would be more likely to take care of them. After all, who can resist those woeful puppy-dog eyes?


Sloths, however, are not domesticated animals, so it’s a bit of a mystery as to why we find them so adorable. Perhaps they evolved to look cute to other sloths, and we humans just happen to agree!



It might also be that humans like to anthropomorphize animals we come in contact with, and project our own interpretations onto sloths. The color of the fur around the three-fingered sloths’ faces makes it look like they have a permanent smile, which looks very endearing! They don’t have huge eyes, but they do have very round eyes, and their round faces make it look like they have big foreheads with receding chins, which is spot-on for scientifically cute.



We seem biologically programed to seek out cute things

The internet is full of pictures and videos of animals (and humans) being cute, illustrations are specifically drawn with the features mentioned above, and even Mickey Mouse has gotten cuter over the years.

We send each other GIFs of creatures being cute, download wallpapers and backgrounds for our computer of adorable things that cheer us up, and stamp clipart of cartoon smiley faces on social media.


We make fan art, illustrations, and drawings, and Japanese even has the word “kawaii”, usually used in anime, that refers to an entire culture of things that are lovely, cute, and vulnerable. Does this make us happy? It must, or else why would we put it across so much of our daily life?

A  study conducted by the University of Leeds, suggests that watching cute animals may reduce stress and anxiety.


Cuddling and hugging are cuteness

It’s not just looks that we are attracted to. Actions can make us feel just as warm and fuzzy and sensitive as a cute face. Soft snuggles, cuddles, and hugs elicit that same feeling of tenderness that we get when we look at babies and baby animals.



Perhaps this is where sloths really excel on the cuteness scale: those furry arms just seem made for hugging! The way they sit on the trunks of trees like they are just cuddling right in for a nap makes it seem like they would be so much fun to snuggle.

Yes, sloths are cute, but we can’t hug them

It’s important to remember that just because a sloth likes to snuggle a tree does not mean they want to snuggle us! Except for raising their young, sloths are solitary, wild animals, and they don’t need humans to go around trying to hold them. Never touch a wild sloth, and don’t patronize organizations that allow sloths to be held by humans.

Let sloths be cute as nature intended them to be: from high up in the trees in their native jungle, and if you want to help them out, don’t hold their hand, just make sure they continue to have a home to be cute in.



How do I love thee?

How do I love thee?

Supporters, how do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways!

I love your Urban Tracking Team, that finds me every day.

I love you for your green-roped bridges that connect the canopy,

I love you for your camera traps that take pictures of me!

I love to wander safely about my jungle lands,

So thank you for the education that shapes the future’s hands.

I love it when the tourists will stop and respect my space,

And I love you for the signs you make to put them in their place.

Supporters, how do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways!

I love your social media and the awareness that you raise!

I love your Slothopedia, that replaces myth with truth,

And I love it when you rescue me from the pet trade and abuse.

I do NOT love your angry dogs, that bark and bite and rend,

But I love it when you teach them better ways to be my friend.

I love it when your gardens grow some food for me to eat,

And I love it when you plant some trees so that the branches meet.

Supporters, how do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways!

I love your eco-tourism, your hotels, and your cafes.

I love it when the powerlines are safe for me to cross,

And when you show illegal loggers who really is the boss.

I love to be adopted (not literally, of course)

And to know my little grandsloths can count on your support.

Most of all I love your kindness and the way you do your part

To share with me this great green world that I love with all my heart.

-Kokomo Sloth

Sloth Love Advisor



Off the Caribbean breeze, there’s a sloth called Kokomo
He’s where we wanna go, to get away from it all.
Footprints in the sand, three claws on his climbing hand,
You’ll be falling in love to the rhythm of this forested land
Down with Kokomo

Sea almonds, beach palms and–Oooh I got sloth calmin’!
Green pipas, vine creepers, come on I wanna meet ya
On the playa, bonfire, baby get me higher.
Oh, I want to go down like Kokomo,
He gets there fast but then he takes it slow–
Go down like Kokomo.

So unique, that three-fingered masked mystique

He puts out in the trees, his boudoir is the canopy,
And by and by he defies the laws of gravity.
Hanging upside down, he can see all the way around,
That dreamy smile on his face gives me shivers all over the place–
Go down like Kokomo.

Sea almonds, beach palms and–Oooh I got sloth calmin’!
Green pipas, vine creepers, come on I wanna meet ya
On the playa, bonfire, baby get me higher.
Oh, I want to go down like Kokomo,
He gets there fast but then he takes it slow–
Go down like Kokomo.

He’s moved on since, I want to catch a glimpse

Everybody knows a sloth called Kokomo,
Now if you wanna go and get it on real slow
Go down like Kokomo.


Best Sloth Memes

Best Sloth Memes

Some experts consider memes an important form of communication. No doubt you also know someone who speaks in memes (millennials, we’re looking at you) and we love memes too!

We’ve made a selection of the funniest sloth memes from 2021 for your personal amusement, or for sharing with your meme-obsessed, sloth-nerd friends.

1. Red Flags

Red flags are the signs that warn you that that person might not be the right one for you…


red flags meme

…especially if they like to go to petting zoos and hug sloths!


2. Khaby Lame reacts to people interacting with sloths:


khaby lame reacts sloth meme

What can we say, he gets it.


3 . The Mika song from Tik Tok

…but slothified:

sloth memes


4 . This is not fine

sloth meme this is not fine

This was the exact reaction of all of us at SloCo after the IPCC report on global warming officially told us what we already know:

Human activities are affecting the climate and we’re tired of pretending nothing is happening.


5. Not really a meme, but we had to include it anyway.

This comic from artist Liz Climo really blew up on our social media this Halloween:

halloween sloth meme


6. You’ve heard of the elf on the shelf…

sloth meme elfe on the shelf

…the moth on the sloth!


7. What kind of holiday sloth are you?

christmas holiday sloth meme


We’re definitely number 9 when it comes to the discussion about sloths not having toes in their hands and why the correct name is ‘three-fingered sloth”, and OMG, don’t even get us started on the subject of power lines…


8. Again, not really a meme, but have you seen these taxidermied sloths in the Natural History Museum?

They are…something else. We have a whole blog about it in case you just can’t look away.

harpy eagle sloth

9. Abbey Road sloth

To celebrate The Beatles day

10. Bonus


Top sloth blogs from 2021

Top sloth blogs from 2021

It’s the end of the year again—time to reflect, reorganize, and recap the best of 2021. So here are our top 10 blogs, articles, photos, and stories.

 “But wait!” you say, “How do I know these are really the best? Maybe you’re trying to pawn off some substandard content on me! I’m a discerning reader, you know. My time is valuable!”

We know! These posts have been selected according to very stringent internal standards, such as by monitoring which articles got the most web traffic this year. Our readers have voted with their clicks, and the results are in. Enjoy!


1. Slothopedia:

This is a project still in its infancy, but it is live and it is here! We aim to make Slothopedia the largest and most scientifically accurate source of sloth information on the internet. For sloth lovers, children, grad students, or just curious people, the Slothopedia will have it all!

We launched the main page during Sloth Month—October–and will be adding new articles, revising and expanding it during 2022.

Visit Slothopedia


2. Baby sloths: everything you always wanted to know!

A few months ago you could Google “baby sloth” and SloCo was not even in the first 40 pages of search results! (And everybody knows that nobody reads beyond the first page, never mind the other 39.)

This was unacceptable. We ARE the sloth experts, and we have a nearly encyclopedic collection of accurate, ethical sloth photos.

So we wrote the most amazing mega-post about sloth babies, and guess what? In a matter of weeks, with your help sharing and reposting, we’re now in the top three! (Depending on which country you Google from.)

Click here and help us get that number even better, plus of course, getting your fill of sloth-adorableness.

Baby Sloths


3. Tracking Diaries

People love jungle adventures! Okay, they love to read about jungle adventures, preferably from a climate-controlled armchair with a drink nearby. Happily for you, we delivered on your wish, and here they are!

The tracking diaries are the chronicles of our tracking team in the field. In these blogs, you’ll find a lot of sloth chasing, equipment failures, equipment theft, missing equipment, mud, swamps, barb wire fences, mosquitos, and all the cool stuff we love about studying sloths and doing science while walking in circles chasing erratic radio signals.


Tracking Diaries


4. Searching for the elusive maned sloths of Brazil

In March this year, we had the amazing opportunity to join professor Gastón Giné–one of the leading experts in the maned sloth research–in Brazil to help him tag and fit GPS backpacks to these endangered sloths in the Atlantic forest of Sapiranga Reserve.

maned sloth brazil

Maned Sloths of Brazil


5. Three-fingered sloth adopts a two-fingered orphan

This was one of our most popular stories this year (although it was written at the end of 2020). Some local tour guides contacted us after they made an amazing observation: they found a case of spontaneous inter-species adoption, in the wild! The story is as heartwarming as it is astounding.

sloth adoption

Three-fingered sloth adopts a two-fingered baby


6. A new national symbol

In this blog we explained how sloths became a national symbol for Costa Rica, what this means for conservation, how we were involved in developing this law, and how it improves the lives of sloths.


national symbol costa rica

The Sloth: a new national symbol for Costa Rica


7. True stories behind these baby sloth photos

You have already seen this photo all over the internet. But have you ever wondered about the name and the story of the most famous sloth on the planet? Wonder no more! We have the truth!

famous sloth of internet

Famous baby sloths!


8. Ancient sloths were not leaf eaters?

Apparently, some of them were “opportunistic omnivores”, just like your friend who wants to become vegetarian but can’t pass up on the free hot dogs at the company picnic.

Mylodon giant sloth omnivorous

Mylodon, oportunistic omnivore?


9. Arislothl & Slothocles: Taking Things Philosophically

William Hartston, the famous journalist, author, and sloth lover, wrote this entry (originally published on Beachcomber column for 11 September 2021 / Daily Express) about what can we learn from the philosophy of sloths.

 Sloth Philosophy


10. Are humans the baddies?

According to one of the latest research articles on the subject, it turns out that we don’t have giant sloths pooping avocados anymore because ancient humans hunted them to extinction some thousands of years ago… Oops. At least we still have the avocados.

humans hunting giant sloth

Did humans cause the extinction of the giant ground sloths?


-Cecilia Pamich

(Reviewed by Ames Reeder)

Holiday Sloths Memes

Holiday Sloths Memes

Which holiday sloth are you?

Aahhhh the holidays…. No matter how you celebrate, or what your relatives’ personal drama is, it seems like we always find the same characters in the family gatherings. The real question is, which one are you? (Better yet, which one of these is Uncle Earl?)


christmas holiday sloth meme

You’ve heard of “Elf of the Shelf”…


elf on the shelf meme




This is Sloth Tracking: a Spooky Poem

This is Sloth Tracking: a Spooky Poem


Boys and girls of every age,

Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?

Come with us and you will see

Some weird things out while sloth tracking!


This is sloth tracking! This is sloth tracking!

The females scream while they’re in heat

Every 15 minutes they will repeat.

This is sloth tracking

(we need more caffeine),

And the army ants just got my feet.


army ants


In our town, everybody screams,

At the things that bite while sloth tracking!


In this town that we call home

Everybody hails to the jungle song.

Fungus, mold,

And mushrooms too,

Pretty soon they’ll be growing on you!


fungus mold


I left my machete under my bed,

Now the evil ortiga’s all dripping red.

Of the golden orb spiders, we all beware

Because the six-foot webs are caught in my hair!


golden orb web spider



This is sloth tracking! This is sloth tracking!

Dead sloths hang from the jungle vines

(this sort of thing just happens sometimes).

This is sloth tracking,

Oh no, what’s that thing,

It looks like a zombie covered in slime.


In our town, everybody screams

At the things, we smell while sloth tracking!


In this town that we call home

Everybody hails to the jungle song.

It eats all things!

It rusts our bikes!

It breaks our tech in the dead of night!



We wave our antenna all through the air,

But the signal’s bouncing everywhere.

Follow it in circles till we disappear

I really can’t believe that I volunteered.


This is sloth tracking! This is sloth tracking!

Monkeys howl from the canopy

Strange things crunch through the fallen leaves.

This is sloth tracking,

Lost in the deepest green,

And something growled from the dark unseen.


In this forest, everybody screams

But no one hears while you’re sloth tracking!


In this wood that they call home

Everybody hails to the jungle song.

The humans here

Have much to fear

‘Cause the wild things rule when the night draws near.


*A poem inspired by “This Is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Here are some of our favorite spooky sloth facts and Halloween sloth puns (we apologize in advance for a couple of them).

-Ames Reeder

Sloth Tracking Team

Arislothl & Slothocles: Taking Things Philosophically

Arislothl & Slothocles: Taking Things Philosophically

GREAT excitement has followed my discovery, in an attic clean-out at Beachcomber Towers, of a manuscript believed lost for more than 2,000 years. Written by the ancient Greek philosopher Arislothl, it is nothing less than a complete version of his legendary masterpiece Lethargics outlining his highly influential views on the merits of nothingness. 

Well, perhaps I exaggerate slightly when I say it was complete, as several pages were blank but for Arislothl’s characteristic apology: “text to follow when I get round to it”, but all the evidence suggests that he never did get around to it.

The pages of Lethargics that he completed, however, are enough to show that Arislothl’s philosophical views were a clear advance on the treatise Indolentia Totalis, written by his friend and colleague Slothocles.  Though the two men jointly ran the Inactivity School in Athens, there is no evidence that they ever met, despite apparent joint efforts to arrange an idleness symposium.

Arislothl’s profound conclusions follow from a simple argument: that errors of commission are far more numerous and generally more serious than errors of omission. In other words, more and greater ills are caused by things we do than by things we don’t do, so doing nothing is best. He argued that any action is preceded by a decision to act, and how to do it. Typically, any question has one right answer and many wrong answers, so there must be far more ways of doing something wrong than doing it right. He, therefore, extolled the virtues of indecisiveness.

Followers of Arislothl and Slothocles at the Inactivity School were also instructed in propitious modes of physical inactivity of which hanging upside down and doing nothing was considered to make the greatest contribution to mental health and general well-being. 

Arislothl’s wisdom seems particularly appropriate in current times. Climates wouldn’t change, he said, if people didn’t do anything; chaotic withdrawals of armed forces would be unnecessary if they didn’t go anywhere in the first place; wars would never happen. He even pointed out that pandemics could not spread if we all hung upside down on our own in trees.

If you are wondering why I had never found this manuscript before, I must confess that I bought it in Cambridge in the 1940s in a boot sale run by the late Bertrand Russell. At previous such sales, Russell had sold only boots. When I pointed out to him that he took the term ‘boot sale’ too literally, he added a crate of apparent junk and I, therefore, felt obliged to bid for it.  


 -William Hartston

Beachcomber column for 11 September 2021 / Daily Express

Sloths in the museum

Sloths in the museum

Recently we visited Costa Rica’s La Salle Museum of Natural History, located in the capital, San José. With over 65,000 specimens on exhibition, this is one of the most complete collections in Latin America.

One of our favorite exhibits was the Entomology area, where you can see over 8,000 amazing butterflies, including many Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho spp.) samples. The famous Blue Morpho Butterfly shares its habitat with three-fingered sloths, depending on Sangrillo trees (Pterocarpus officinalis) for survival.


butterfly exhibition
Butterflies from all over the world


The museum has a variety of sections, the main attraction being the paleontology exhibit featuring towering dinosaur skeletons replicas, which are a favorite for all ages. Surrounding the dino enclosure are walls of brilliant minerals and prehistoric fossilized invertebrates (corals, arthropods), and vertebrates (fish, reptiles, birds, mammals).


Photo: Museo Lasalle

The sloth, the bad, and the ugly.

The Mammals Exhibit has 400 taxidermy specimens of both local wildlife and non-native creatures. Taxidermy is the preservation of an animal’s skin over an armature or stuffing.

Natural history museums all over the world exhibit taxidermic animals as education tools, a way to record aspects of species. The majority of specimens are likely to have been prepared decades ago.

But be prepared… these specimens are likely to look very different from any taxidermic animals you may have seen before…


museum taxisermy


The word “taxidermy” comes from the Greek words “taxis” and “derma”, which means “arrangement” and “skin”. But seems like the arrangement of the skin of these animals hasn’t worked out quite as expected…



bad taxidermy sloth
Is it a sloth or a koala?

Aging is not good if you’re a taxidermied sloth

Most of the specimens on display at the Natural History Museum of Costa Rica are very old – some having been prepared over four decades ago!

Taxidermy techniques have changed greatly over the years, and unfortunately, animal specimens who were subjected to the older ‘stuffing’ methods have not stood the test of time.


taxidermy museum sloth
The face when your child has kept you up for 48 hours


These old representations are not in their best shape at all.  Nowadays, taxidermists implement ‘mounting’ methods, where the animal skins are removed and mounted on light wood or foam structures, and resulting in greater longevity for those pieces.


taxidermy museum sloth
To be honest, the hair of this one is fabulous!

A way to see extinct species

Some taxidermy mounts represent extinct or critically endangered species. The Smithsonian´s National Museum of Natural History house Martha, the last passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius).

The Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) is unfortunately considered extinct and in Costa Rica, only inhabiting isolated regions of Central and South America due to habitat loss.

One of the museums’ most impressive taxidermic animals is the Harpy Eagle preying on a two-fingered Sloth (Choloepus Hoffmanni).  This is one of the largest eagles on the planet and relies on sloths for their diets.

Sadly, this Harpy Eagle will be the only chance most of us will have to see one. The sloth itself isn’t in our top ten worst taxidermic animals, in fact, the body of the sloth is highly accurate. It’s the undeniable side-eye that gets us.


harpy eagle museum taxidermy



How taxidermy helped Charles Darwin

This form of preserving specimens began in England in the 19th century. Tanning – turning an animal’s skin into preserved leather – was common back then. Through these methods, the preservation of cataloged species became possible and was a great tool for naturalists.

On his 1831 voyage on HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin made his famous observations of the beak shape of finches across the Galapagos Islands.  He suggested that all had evolved from a common ancestor. Darwin preserved his Galapagos finches using the techniques John Edmonstone – a previously enslaved man from the Guyanas – taught him.


finches galapagos darwin
Finches specimens collected by Darwin. Natural History Museum

Preserving these specimens was crucial in support of his theory on the evolution of species through natural selection. You can see the specimens collected by Charles Darwin and Captain Fitz Roy at the Natural History Museum in London, England.


Visit and support your local Natural History Museum

While the pictures we show you in this article are not the gold standard of taxidermy, the truth is that Museo La Salle has a great variety of collections. If you’re visiting Costa Rica, you might consider spending a morning learning about the animals of this country. To be honest the entomology and mineral exhibits make the visit totally worth it!



Never miss the chance to go to your local Natural History Museum!