We have a new resident at Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco - a baby sloth who goes by the name of Yogi. She was brought here yesterday afternoon after the police were called out to a school where she had been found (along with another adult, not the parent, who was later released straight into the forest here at Cerro Blanco). It wasn’t clear what had happened to Yogi, she had no obvious injuries but had been lost or abandoned by her mother for some reason.
Small, furry, and cute, she is a popular new recruit to the animal rescue centre at Cerro Blanco. However, as she is so young she can’t stay outside at night and needs a lot of care, attention and a warm place to sleep. So, until she is fully grown she will be sleeping in the house of two volunteers from England who live onsite. They will be feeding and taking care of her until she is big enough to go back to the forest. Her diet at first will be lactose-free milk and gradually leaves will be introduced.
Sloths are solitary animals only found in Central and South America; they are tree dwelling and move slowly due to their very slow metabolism, which takes a long time to digest their diet of leaves. Although sloths aren’t an endangered species they do suffer from an increasing loss of habitat and the other indirect and direct impacts of human activity. They can’t move out of the way when trees are cut down and once on the ground are very vulnerable to getting hurt or being separated from each other (if they have young). Sometimes they are also targeted by people; Cerro Blanco has before been home to two adult sloths which were found injured, one with bullet injuries, which unfortunately later died, and the other with a machete wound to the back of its head which was nursed back to health and released back into the forest. Yogi will be kept and cared for at Cerro Blanco for the next few months until she is fully grown and hopefully ready to be released into the protected forest of Cerro Blanco.