Tales from the Jungle: May Update!

Dogs, Goats, and Missing Sloths

Team Sloth have been the opposite of slothful this month – we have been chasing invisible sloths through the jungle, carrying out emergency surgeries, castrating dogs and we were shamefully outsmarted by a herd of hungry goats. Read on below to learn about our biggest successes and failures this month!

Sloth Crossing in Action!




We use remote camera trap technology to monitor our Sloth Crossing wildlife bridges, and this month we were delighted to discover that one of our bridges has turned into a major highway for lots of different species – including both species of sloth, monkeys, and even kinkajous! Click here to view the images!


Our First Castration Clinic!


dog castration


After months of preparation, we were finally able to host our first castration clinic this month in collaboration with veterinarian Ileana Núñez Ulate.  We were able to castrate dogs for 21 local indigenous families in the South Caribbean which will help to reduce the number of dog attacks on sloths in the future!


Tarzan’s Return to the Jungle!


surgery sloth

Tarzan is a three-fingered sloth that arrived to a local rescue center with a badly broken arm. He needed specialized surgery to repair the bones, but the rescue center did not have the funds available due to the ongoing pandemic. We were delighted to step in and fund Tarzan’s surgery, and he is now recovering and preparing for release back into the wild!


Chasing Sloths with Suzi


suzi eszterhas sloth

This month we are also delighted to host world-renowned wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas who is here in the South Caribbean photographing sloths and the conservation problems that they face. We will be able to share her images with you soon, so stay tuned! You can also check out her work to support young girls in wildlife photography: ‘Girls Who Click’!


Back to School!


school south caribbean


We were relieved this month to be able to resume our in-person sloth lessons in local schools in Costa Rica! We are also happy to have welcomed Kassandra into Team Sloth as our new Education Officer in the South Caribbean! Don’t forget – if you are a teacher you can still contact us to organize a free virtual lesson (in English or Spanish) wherever in the world you are!


Reforestation Records!



This month we planted our 700th tree since the beginning of 2021 and connected 28 new properties as wildlife corridors in the South Caribbean! We have also formed new partnerships with other local organizations with the joint aim to reforest coastal areas. This will help not only sloths but also many other species – including endangered sea turtles!

Check out this map to see our tree plantations and wildlife bridges!

New Sloth Backpack!




Earlier this week we were fortunate enough to find Alan – one of our Urban Sloths – sleeping very low down near the ground! This was the perfect opportunity for us to give him a full health check and also fit him with a brand new Sloth Backpack! He will wear this backpack for the next 3 weeks and he will hopefully teach us a lot about urban sloth ecology!


What Went Wrong

It isn’t always sunshine and sloths! Here are our ultimate fails this month…. because we believe that success stories are not the only kind that needs to be shared!


You’ve Goat to be kidding me


Whenever we plant trees, we always monitor the health of the saplings for the first few years to ensure survival. Unfortunately, we didn’t anticipate a goat invasion. One concerned property owner called us this month because some goats had broken onto his land and eaten all the trees we planted…!


Sloth School shut down


school education

Just 3 days after we finally resumed our in-person sloth school education program, the authorities of Costa Rica announced that schools would be immediately suspended again due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Sometimes we just have to channel our inner sloth and be patient…


A Surprise Setback


dog castration

Our first castration clinic turned into a marathon 12-hour day when our vet discovered a severe uterus infection in the very first dog! We had to complete an emergency surgery to save the dog’s life, but thankfully everything went well (and we had plenty of coffee on hand to keep the team going)!


Missing In Action



We know that sloths are good at hiding, but we are usually able to find them if we look long and hard enough! Unfortunately, Arthur (the latest addition to our Urban Sloth Project) decided to challenge us on that fact. After we released him, he managed to avoid detection for 4 full weeks!


Taxidermy Fail


harpy eagle museum taxidermy

While this is not technically a failure on our part, we thought it deserved a place on this list! On a recent visit to the Costa Rican Natural History Museum, Team Sloth discovered some quite spectacular sloth taxidermy on display. Words can’t really do this justice – see them for yourself in our blog post!


I hope that you have enjoyed our updates this month – what a busy month it has been! We already have a lot of exciting events lined up for June, including expanding our sloth conservation efforts to include a whole new region of Costa Rica! I look forward to sharing more updates with you soon and thank you as always for continuing to support our work. We couldn’t do any of this without you!

All the best from the jungles of Costa Rica,
Dr. Rebecca Cliffe
Founder and Executive Director