October 20th marks our favorite day of the year, and we are celebrating with the launch of our 8th Annual Sloth Ironman Games! Tune in on YouTube and Facebook at 1 PM CST to see your favorite slothletes go for the gold!
At Toucan Rescue Ranch, we are crazy about our two- and three-fingered friends, but why sloths? Why do we care so much about them, and why do they need our protection?
Sloths are a National Symbol of Costa Rica
The sloth was named a national symbol of Costa Rica in July of 2021, though it has been considered an unofficial icon of the country for many years prior. Sloths are the smiling face of ecotourism, an animal that draws many to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries around Costa Rica. And we understand the appeal!
Sloths are not only adorable animals, but they are also very unique. Even two-fingered sloths vs. three-fingered sloths have remarkable anatomical differences. Besides the obvious difference in “fingers,” two-fingered sloths have six vertebrae in their necks, while three-fingered sloths have nine. And that iconic smile both species share results from a lack of facial muscles, preventing them from creating any other expression. Sloth fur also hosts species of bacteria, green algae, and fungi that have potential medical benefits to humans!
Sloths may be a world-revered and beloved icon of Costa Rica, but they still face many challenges. In the wake of expanding human development, powerline electrocutions, dog attacks, and car collisions are just a few of the threats sloths face. These conflicts with humans can also result in the death of mother sloths, leaving babies orphaned and unable to survive on their own. These are the main reasons why we receive sloths at Toucan Rescue Ranch: all human-caused and all preventable.
How you can help Real Sloths!
The reason we launch Sloth Ironman Games on International Sloth Day every year is because it is the perfect excuse for everyone to get involved and raise money for sloth conservation! All proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards our Saving Sloths Together program, which helps provide medical treatments, proper diets, enrichment, enclosure enhancements, emergency care, and more for the sloths in our care.
About the writer: Laura Berry, from the United States, has joined the Marketing Team at Toucan Rescue Ranch as the Marketing and Communications Intern! She graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor’s in Science Writing, and gained experience in wildlife nonprofits through a communications internship at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Through this internship, Laura hopes to learn more about fundraising, videography, and effective content creation for social media.