Since 2013, Sam Trull, co-founder of the Sloth Institute in Costa Rica, has been assisting sloths in their return to the wild.
“I think one of my favorite things about sloths is that they mind their own business,” Trill told the Manhattan Book Review.
Kermie, the sloth Trull rescued and who inspired her to found the Institute, is shown here.
“I realize that the ‘circle of life’ requires all kinds of species of animals, including mischievous monkeys and carnivorous cats, and no offense to those animals that need to eat other animals to survive.”
“But how can I not be drawn to species that just want to eat their leaves, relax in the sunshine and the breeze and have a good scratch?! In addition, they have a very curious and playful side, something most people have never and will never see, but it is definitely the most endearing thing I have ever seen.”
The Institute employs a unique “soft” release method. It permits sloths to gradually adapt to the jungle before venturing out on their own.
“I co-founded The Sloth Institute because I wanted to spend all of my energy and time getting my hand-raised babies back into the jungle”
The Institute’s key objectives are ‘research for sloths in captivity and in the wild’, ‘collaboration with other sloth-related institutions across the world’, and ‘education to develop and spread accurate and balanced information on sloths to the general public.’
“Sloths need trees to survive and not just any trees, but the right trees and enough trees”
“They need a connected and healthy forest”
“For a sloth living near humans just trimming a tree can lead to death, let alone actually cutting an entire tree down”
“In addition, humans come with electric wires, cars, dogs…”
“…all things that affect every wildlife species, but especially sloths that do not have the ability to jump away from danger or run quickly across the road”
“People can help by being responsible tourists”
“When visiting a country with sloths, never pay to take a picture with one, hold one or pet one”
“How can you not be drawn to species that just want to eat their leaves, relax in the sunshine and the breeze and have a good scratch?!”
“In addition, they have a very curious and playful side, something most people have never and will never see”