• The Sloth Journal’s

    Chispa, Female Two-Fingered Sloth Age: 1-year, 3-months Place of Origin: Tortuguero Current Weight: 1.4 kg Nickname: Cheese Puff Special Talents: Sticking her tongue out and perhaps teleportation   The only girl of the high school kids, Chispa (and definitely not Cheese Puff, as some people have confused her name for) sticks out among the babies with her… tongue, which can often be seen poking out of her ever-so-slightly agape mouth. Perhaps Chispa’s most noticeable facial feature, however, is her left eye, which is almost completely shut. After her mother fell out of a tree and landed on concrete, Chispa sustained a blinding eye injury. Despite this handicap, Chispa is one of the most independent sloths of the bunch. As a silent underdog of sorts, Chispa often picks off food that the other babies are yet to notice, and has occasionally been seen sleeping alone hanging upside down a lá wild sloth. Chispa has also gotten into her share of precarious situations. One day, Chispa was found clinging onto a light fixture high up on the ceiling of Leslie’s porch all by her lonesome. It’s likely that she climbed from the safety of the sloth rocking chairs and made her way up to the ceiling using a variety of objects (ropes stretching across the porch, a broom leaning against a pillar, low hanging cables, etc.). This goes to show that despite whatever handicap an animal patient at the Ranch may have, they still have a chance at release into the wild, and Chispa has proven to be no exception. There is also the slim possibility that Chispa is secretly capable of teleportation, though this is yet to be witnessed firsthand. Happy #SlothSunday!  By intern and sloth nanny Mitch Deskovick | You can read more about TRR updates on our newsletter! 


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  • A Sloth in Heat

    Female three-fingered sloths come into estrous, or heat, multiple times a year and boy, do they like to scream about it! When a female sloth is "in heat" and ready to breed she doesn't wait for the males to come to her, she actively encourages them with high-pitched screams. The males will then follow the sound of the screams until he finds her. However, if multiple suitors find her, they may fight each other until the strongest male wins the right to mate. Once decided, the female will let the male approach. In a matter of minutes, intercourse is finished. In some cases, a pair has been found to stay together in the same tree for a few days, sometimes mating again. In others, the male has left shortly after fulfilling his role. Both genders are promiscuous and are likely to mate again. The female three-fingered sloth's pregnancy will last 6-7 months (for two-fingered it is 10-11 months!) and typically only one baby is born, although on some occasions, twins have been reported. Not a lot is known about the courting and reproduction of sloths as it has only been recorded on rare occasions. Recently, our resident three-fingered sloth, Bella, was in heat and we were lucky enough to witness her mating calls, although we're not sure the neighbors would share the sentiment. By former intern Katie Grant | Read more articles like this one by subscribing to our newsletter! 


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  • The Sloth Journal’s

    Ringo, Male Two-Fingered Sloth Age: At least 7 months Current Weight: 1.1 kg Place of Origin: Puriscal Nicknames: Sonic, Wristwatch, Sniffles Special Talents: Clinging to his caretakers, casually doing the splits Ringo is one of the youngest sloths in the high school group. He frequently hangs on to Latte while happily watching over the other sloths as she navigates through the climbing frame. As a youngster, Ringo used to be scared of everything, nervously sniffling when isolated from his larger friends or when being picked up by one of the nannies. In fact, Ringo’s caretakers can attach him onto any part of their body and walk around as if baby sloths were the latest fashion accessory. Now, Ringo’s caretakers speculate that he may be going through sloth puberty. Ringo seems to regularly pick fights with the other sloth kids on the chairs, biting whoever dares to wake him up or steal his spot on Latte. Ringo may not be the biggest of the high school kids, but his resemblance to a hedgehog could land him a gig digging around in soil looking for earthworms.   You can symbolically adopt Ringo and his pals by visiting our Adoption Program! Happy #SlothSunday!     By intern Ana Maria 


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  • Emma’s New Playground

    Do you remember when we were fundraising for Emma the Otter? We had big dreams to build her a large otter habitat where she could swim, fish and run. Well, thanks to many generous donations, we finally have an otter aquarium right in the heart of the Toucan Rescue Ranch. All the staff and volunteers have been patiently waiting as construction started in early February. Now the pool is in its last stages before Emma will be able to go otterly crazy in her new home! The Toucan Rescue Ranch hopes that one day other otters who need rescue can join Emma in her habitat. Not only does she have more space, but she now will have the opportunity to receive more enrichment such as live fish to hunt and eat! We would like to thank all of those who donated, shared and supported Emma as we raised funds for her new home. Projects like this wouldn’t be possible without the continuous support of people like you. You can view Emma's crowdfunding campaign here!  For more updates about Emma, follow our Facebook page! 


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  • A Grey Hawk’s Journey

    A Grey Hawk's Journey When I came to the Ranch in July, there was a particularly special animal that immediately stole my heart. It was a grey hawk that was brought to us as a juvenile. His wings had been clipped. Someone tried to keep this incredible raptor as a pet and robbed him of the opportunity to grow in the wild. When he first arrived we placed him in a smaller enclosure while waiting for our soft​-​release enclosure to become available. ​When we noticed that he was displaying all the signs of progression, we knew he was a release candidate! He was hunting, mantling over his food and calling to other birds in the sky. When we moved him to our pre-release enclosure, it was a very special day. Without hesitation, he flew to the back of the enclosure and perched on the highest beam. There were days that I would check on him to find that he had captured his own live prey, prey that I hadn't introduced to his enclosure. His amazing hunting abilities even gained him the nickname of "Killer" amongst a few of the volunteers at TRR. Watching his progression and aiding in his rehabilitation has been one of the most rewarding and gratifying experiences I've had since coming to Costa Rica. He was released on March 25, 2017 in Cartago, Costa Rica!  You can watch the hawk's release on our YouTube channel!  By Intern Mackenzie King | You can read updates like this one by subscribing to our monthly newsletter! 


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  • The Sloth Institute and Toucan Rescue Ranch Partner to Help Orphan Sloths

    Collaboration focuses on releasing hand-raised orphaned sloths back into the rainforest The Sloth Institute of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (TSI) announces its collaboration with Toucan Rescue Ranch (TRR) to enhance its Sloth Release and Education Program at TRR. TRR’s release site is located in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, which is one-hour from their rescue center.This release site has 40 acres of rainforest where 16 sloths have already been released by TRR. TSI is excited to further this release program with the release of hand-raised orphaned sloths as well. The collaboration, in alignment with TSI’s mission of the conservation and well-being of sloths, focuses on a 3-part release plan of hand-raised orphaned sloths back into the rainforest. “We are very excited to be able to share what factors we have learned and are learning that contribute to hand-raised orphaned sloths successful re-entry into the rainforest”, said Sam Trull, co-founder and Sloth Director at TSI. “The sloths at TRR will begin their journey into TSI’s Soft-Release Program. Fitted with tracking collars, the sloths will be tracked around the clock to collect behavioral data, locational data and health status information; critical for the replication for other orphans to have a chance at going back home to the rainforest.” “Our hope with this collaboration is to better learn how to prepare orphaned sloths brought to our center for eventual re-entry into the rainforest” said Leslie Howle, Founder/Owner of TRR. “There is a critical need to give these orphaned sloths a second chance at life and with The Sloth Institute’s assistance we are so excited to be a part of the sloths journey back to the jungle where they belong.” Trull, who spent more than a decade working with primates, began her study of sloths three years ago. “Sloths are not a primate species but are very similar and endearing because of their human like qualities and are in danger”, said Trull. Howle who has spent over 12-years working with Costa Rican wildlife and nine-years with sloths, is excited to enhance their release site and see sloths off into their journey to be wild. Trull and Howle have been sharing sloth information for the past two years. For more information about the collaboration, see www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org/blog. About The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica The mission of The Sloth Institute Costa Rica is to enhance the well-being and conservation of wild and captive sloths through research and education. TSI is also dedicated to collaborating with sloth rehabilitation programs to assist with the release of hand-raised orphaned sloths. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For further information or to donate to this project, email info@theslothinstitutecostarica.org or visit www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org.


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