I can't figure out how to upload an image with my iPad
March 13, 2012 12:27 AM - Open Thread
- gay smurf hoodlum
cuz this is what i picture it being in my head..
One of the highlights of my vacation was visiting a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. The sanctuary was started by an American family living down there. One day a wounded sloth wandered onto their property, and they had a new mission in life.
I liked the family a lot, and they gave us a personal tour of the place. They weren’t strident tree-hugger types – no rants about development, humans, etc. Rather, they work in different ways to eradicate the three main causes of injuries to the gentle sloth:
-sloths climbing up power line poles, thinking they are trees, and getting zapped. They are working with the power companies to design a pole that prevents the sloths from climbing up.
-sloths crossing roads cut through the forest. Sloths are quite mobile when traversing the tree canopy of the jungle. When they have to move on the ground, however, they are slow and awkward. The solution? Build “sloth bridges” over the roads!
-kids throwing stones at them. They run an education program for local kids, in which they get to meet the injured sloths, and see that they are actually hurting them.
The attached photo is is of a baby sloth that they rescued. The mother fell from the tree and died. As baby sloths cling to their mother for over a year, they give them a teddy bear as a substitute.
In addition to their rescue mission, they promote research into these creatures. Here are some facts about sloths:
-contrary to the popular myth, they only sleep 8 hours a day. When these creatures were first observed, it seemed that they were always sleeping (upside down, hanging from the tree). They later realized that there is one sub-species that is nocturnal, and another that is diurnal, but they look alike.
-sloths have one of the lowest metabolism rates of any animal. It takes them a full week to digest anything they eat. They defecate and urinate only once a week!! They should patent that system!!
-sloths are not typical mammals, in that their blood temperature is affected by the ambient level. They do not do well in the cold.
More info on the sanctuary: www.slothrescue.org