6 Sloth

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Wildlife -

RANGE: Two- and three-toed sloths are found across Cen­tral and north­ern South Amer­ica.

THE EX­PE­RI­ENCE: You’re un­likely to just stum­ble across a sloth in the misty rain­forests of Latin Amer­ica. They hang sta­tion­ary for long pe­ri­ods (sleep­ing 8–10 hours a day in the wild), to the point that al­gae even grows on their fur, cam­ou­flag­ing them from preda­tors and wildlife spot­ters. Be­cause of this, lo­cal knowl­edge is in­valu­able if you want to see that blissed-out smile beam­ing down at you from the branches above.

NEED TO KNOW: Wan­der­ing sloth-friendly park trails in­de­pen­dently can yield en­coun­ters, but us­ing a guide mas­sively in­creases your chance, as the teams ra­dio each other to re­port sight­ings and their ea­gle eyes are more at­tuned to spot­ting these well-cam­ou­flaged crea­tures. Be sure to avoid any so-called sanc­tu­ar­ies that of­fer to let you hold sloths; this is not good for the an­i­mals and can cause them se­ri­ous stress. BEST PLACE TO SEE… Costa Rica is year-round sloth cen­tral – it’s even on the cur­rency! Home to Hoffmann’s two-toed and brown-throated sloths, you can see them any­where but con­cen­tra­tions are high­est in the forests of the Osa Penin­sula; along the Pa­cific coast, such as Manuel An­to­nio Na­tional Park; or Tor­tuguero NP on the Caribbean side. How­ever, those head­ing north to­wards Monteverde and its fa­mous cloud-for­est will only find the thick-furred, noc­tur­nal two-toed sloth; they can sur­vive at chill­ier al­ti­tudes, and though they are tough to see, guided night tours are avail­able.

Not so lazy Sloths in the wild sleep nowhere near as long as their rep­u­ta­tion sug­gests

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