Meet the Urban Sloths!
The Urban Sloth Project is our latest scientific research project concerning sloth ecology, studying how habitat urbanization is impacting sloth health and behavior. For the next five years, we’ll be monitoring 32 wild sloths: 16 three-fingered and 16 two-fingered sloths.
Some of them live in town, close to restaurants and parties, while others live by busy roads, and a lucky few are living the dream in healthy, untouched rainforest.
Today we’re not here to talk about the USP but to introduce you to the sloths we’ve been monitoring this year. Also check out which sloths you can symbolically adopt, either for yourself or as a gift to the sloth lover in your life! Our adoption program is a very important part of our conservation projects and helps promote scientific research to help sloths in the wild.
Little Croissant was the Urban Sloth Project’s first three-fingered volunteer. Hailing from just outside of the main part of town, she lives behind a bakery that sells the most delicious pastries from which she gets her name.
Croissant has a laid-back attitude, which helped her keep from stressing out too much when we first fitted her with her tracking collar, and she’ll need all the mental fortitude she can get to deal with the deforestation occurring in her area.
She’s been chased from one home already by a new power line and has moved to a difficult-to-access swamp for her new chosen home range. Sneaky Croissant knows how to hide from power lines and sloth researchers alike, and keeps the tracking team on their toes!
Luna and Sol
Luna was an unexpected addition to our research program when Dr. Cliffe had to stop traffic for her and her then-dependent baby to cross a road safely. She quickly put a tracking collar on Luna and let her on her way, and we’ve been observing her ever since.
Luna’s son Sol has grown up and set up his own territory adjacent to his mothers, but we continue to track Luna in her territory bordered by the road and the beach. Luna is a beautiful three-fingered sloth who likes to find a good tree and stay in it for a few days. This habit–along with her proven tendency to raise adorable babies–ensures Luna is the darling of the tracking team, who are always happy to pay her a visit.
Nacho is a very urban Urban Sloth, who hangs out at bars and restaurants. First collared above Tasty Waves Cantina and named for our favorite dish, Nacho has kept the tracking team busy while he made his way to town and proceeded to patronize the local eateries.
This feisty two-fingered sloth is unafraid of human structures and is as likely to be found inside a rooftop or under a table as in a tree. When he does remember he is a wild animal, he likes to curl up in sea almonds or palm trees and catch a tropical breeze while humans wait for the happy hour.
Mango was rescued one stormy day in May when we accidentally discovered a damp little ball of fur huddled on the ground– cold, wet, and seemingly abandoned. With no mum in sight, he was paired up with SloCo’s stuffed sloth mascot (Jim), where little Mango warmed up and promptly fell asleep.
Once he woke up and dried off, we fitted him with a miniature baby sloth backpack and released him in a small patch of forest near SloCo HQ, where we are happy to report he has thrived ever since!
All of these sloths are available for virtual and physical adoption. If you choose the physical option, you’ll receive a printed adoption package plus a full-sized edition of the coffee-table book “Sloths: Life in the Slow Lane”, written by Dr. Rebecca Cliffe, with stunning photography by the world-renowned Suzi Eszterhas.
There are more sloths!
Not yet up for adoption but still, meet the other furry members of the Urban Sloth Project. If you subscribe to our VIP program we will send you monthly updates on ALL of them!
Named in honor of SloCo’s legal expert, Alan Elizondo Medina (who helped us to gain official charity status in Costa Rica), our most chilled-out little sloth lives an idyllic life at a local Eco Lodge in the South Caribbean. Kukula Lodge’s environmentally conscious owners have maintained a fantastic haven of trees throughout their property, which hosts Alan as well as a number of his friends.
When Alan stays near the lodge he is an easy sloth to track, since we have been tracking him for a long time and have learned most of his habits. Sometimes, though, this three-fingered boy likes to take off into the Cacao Forest that borders the property, and when he does he is nearly impossible to find until he is ready to emerge!
Baguette was first found when the team rescued her from an isolated chain-link fence as she was trying to escape some dogs guarding a construction site.
This clever three-fingered lady used to live in the same bakery-neighborhood as Croissant, but she responded to the rapid development and tree felling by taking off into a different swamp, where she can be found when she darn well wants to and at no other time.
Since then, clever Baguette has been a challenge for our tracking team, disappearing into impenetrable, swampy areas and very tall trees, but thankfully avoiding any further construction sites.
The trees in Arthur’s territory are extremely tall with a beautifully connected canopy, courtesy of the property owners who maintain a healthy variety of trees to attract wildlife… and eco-friendly tourists.
Handsome Arthur is an adult male three-fingered sloth with a nice orange speculum on his back. He can usually be found high in the top branches of the Chilamate trees he prefers, but it sometimes takes laying on the ground with a pair of binoculars to get a glimpse of him.
Arthur is tricky, but the tracking team is dedicated, and it has been a real privilege to see how he has integrated his territory with his urbanizing environment.
Receive updates about all our sloths!
For only $25 per month, you can become a VIP member and receive updates on ALL THE SLOTHS we are monitoring! You will have access to the biographies of Mango, Croissant, Nacho and Luna, plus historical biographies of previous sloths that were part of the ‘Backpack Project’, like Bojagles, or Ali and Jessica! Not to mention current photos, illustrations, exclusive Q&A sessions with Dr. Rebecca Cliffe, Ecology Coordinator Amelia Symeou, and more!
MORE SLOTHS in 2022
That’s right, we’re not done yet! In 2022 we’ll add more sloths to the Urban Sloth Project, and this means more biographies, more monitoring, more updates, new pictures, and more stories from the field!