The site is a popular attraction for swarms of tourists keen to catch a glimpse of the curious-looking mammals. Volunteers at the refuge work around the clock to rescue, research and rehabilitate the local sloth population.
The lovely creature, named after one of the deadly seven sins, has long suffered an image problem. However, it’s gentle temperament and cute face is slowly winning over new fans.
As urban development encroaches on the sloth’s habitat, the sanctuary is stepping up efforts to educate visitors and the local population about the little-known mammal.
Started over two decades ago, the asylum began its work after a resident handed over a starving baby sloth to refuge founder Judy Avery Arroyo.
Over the years, the number of sloths in the rescue’s ranks has swollen to over 130 creatures in need of medical attention and rehabilitation.
“The neighbor’s girls across the street brought Buttercup over to us and Buttercup was a tiny baby three-fingered sloth and there was no place to take her in those days and so we just decided to do the best we could for her,” said Avery Arroyo.”And she survived, she thrived and two years later another one came and six months later another one, and it just continued to snowball and today we’re one of the only rescue centers in the world that rescues sloths.”
The sloths are herbivores with the majority of their diet primarily consisting of leaves and shoots high up in the trees of Costa Rica’s exotic forests.
Sanctuary veterinarian Marcelo Espinoza said the sanctuary’s mission is to rehabilitate the animal and return it to its natural home when possible.
Many of the baby sloths that make their way to the refuge are often orphaned due to parents leaving weak offspring behind or mothers falling prey to jungle predators.
“This is a problem that we are facing. How do we teach a baby who has arrived and is less than a year old, who doesn’t have the information that its mother teaches?” said Avery Arroyo.
Sloths are the world’s slowest-moving mammals and are found across parts of Central and South America. There are six-known species across the continent and the Costa Rican sanctuary is home to the Bradypus and Choleopus species. According to the World Wildlife Fund, many species of the sloth are at risk of extinction.
Biodiversity is one of the country’s main attractions, people who purchase real estate in Costa Rica experience a lifestyle extremely close to nature. Not only at Costa Developers we support sustainable development but we also make sure we respect preserved areas.
Our projects are nestled on an area known for its flora and fauna, properties are surrounded by mountains, trees, rivers and beach habitats that bring thousands of species every year to the area.Share on Facebook