Tales From the Jungle: March 2022
We are very proud to announce that the Founder and Executive Director of SloCo, Dr. Rebecca Cliffe, is a proud recipient of the prestigious 2022 Future for Nature Award!
Joining her this year are Tiasa Adhya of India, and Gabriel Massocato of Brazil, each of whom will receive €50,000! If you want to know more about what SloCo is doing with our prize money, read this blog here. (Spoiler: it’s got sloths in it, dogs, and some cutting-edge science. Good stuff.)
2021 Annual Report!
Is finally here! In this 26-page document we give you a complete review of our last years’ worth of achievements, highlights, finances, and more! We understand that it is important for you to know that your donations are being used in the most effective way possible to help sloths.
We present to you our latest Annual Report –click the link below to see a full breakdown of everything that happened for Team Sloth in 2021.
Our Sloth Crossing Team has a new personal best
On March 16th our bridge-building managed to install no less than FIVE bridges in one day, while simultaneously planting 30 sloth-friendly trees!
Sometimes bridge-building is very unpredictable, and the trees can make it quite difficult to set up guidelines or even find the right branches to climb. It can occasionally take up to four hours to finish one single bridge, depending on factors such as the weather, the trees, the sightlines of the giant guideline-setting slingshot, or the daily Angry Monkey Quotient.
Launching camera trap project
We are super excited to begin this phase of our new research project! Thanks to our Sloth Crossings Community we are finally able to begin recording all the animals using our Sloth Bridges and share with you pictures of all the jungle wildlife that creeps and crawls and climbs high above us in the canopy.
We have a special thanks to the Krueger Family who sacrificed space in their luggage to safely bring down our camera traps and deliver them to us here in Costa Rica. Thank you, Krueger Family!
At the moment we have exactly 13 camera traps to cover 150 bridges. The math on this means that either each bridge is going to get a fraction of a camera (probably not very effective), or else, you guessed it—we’re going to need more cameras! For now we are grateful and excited to get set up on some of our bridges, and we’ll send you those pictures as soon as we have them.
If you’d like to help us see what we’re missing on the other 137 bridges, click the link below to donate to this project:
This month we launched our latest educational project, the Kukula Kids’ Club! This club is open to 10 to 15 children from the local community to join us on weekly activities that range from art classes and snake identification to visits to rescue centers, jungle walks, and science games! It’s exactly the sort of expanded extracurricular activities we all wish we could have had as kids; nerdy, outdoorsy, artsy—and with lots of potentials to open up opportunities in science and conservation.
This month we also went to Siquirres, a town about two hours from SloCo headquarters. There, our teachers Kassandra and Sarah brought some fun sloth and science education to over 160 kids between the ages of 6 to 12 from the school Escuela Antonio Fernández Gamboa.
We’re happy to announce that our popular booklet “Solcky and Marley the amazing sloths” is now available (and free!) to download in German! By the end of this year, we’ll also have the Italian and Portuguese versions ready as well.
Fails of the month
Nacho left the USP
Sadly, we had to make the decision this month to remove Nacho from the Urban Sloth Project—not due to any failure on Nacho’s part, but because he kept having this equipment stolen. The latest piece of tech to walk away was his collar. Taking backpacks and collars off sloths is a job for the professionals, and trust us, it is dangerous even then, and it can be really stressful for the sloths.
Ultimately, this is another parameter by which we can measure the impact of urbanization on the lives of sloths and we did get a lot of very useful information out of tracking Nacho. To reassure everyone: Nacho is alive and well, and still hanging out in his usual trees around Stanford’s. Although we’re not officially monitoring him, we go downtown and pay a visit to him every other day.
Our poor slingshot snapped at the last minute, just a couple of days before our collaboration with ICE at Playa Negra! Bad timing! However, if the jungle teaches you anything, it teaches you to improvise, and Diego stepped in to rescue the project with his homemade slingshot replacement.
The tracking team eaten by the jungle
And last but not least, what are some Tales of the Jungle without some jungle trying to eat us all? This month the Tracking Team was hit by the Nefarious Rust Monster in the form of corrosive salty beach breezes, which finally took down Amanda’s motorcycle and forced her to do her tracking on foot.
As if that weren’t enough, the Mad Mud Monster of Heck Swamp got its dirty fingers on Amelia while she was out looking for Baguette, and what looked like an innocent splash of mud turned out to have something in it that gave her a giant rash. As the joke goes, they have cream for that, and we are happy to report that Amelia’s leg is recovering well.
Thank you so much for reading our newsletter, and we’ll see you in the next one!