Animal Planet Films “Meet the Sloths” in Cahuita Sanctuary
Animal Planet’s prime time show, “Meet the Sloths” details the interesting lives of 150 furry residents at Aviarios del Caribe – Cahuita’s (now famous) sloth sanctuary. If you haven’t been, this one-of-a-kind refuge protects orphaned and injured sloths from all over Costa Rica. Since opening its doors in 1997, the sanctuary and its dedicated staff have rehabilitated and rescued more than 350 two and three-toed sloths, ensuring they receive the care and love they deserve. The popular series, which was filmed last fall, details the romances and struggles of sloths named Tigger, Melinda, Suzi and Samantha, among others.
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Animal Planet show goes behind-the-scenes
The show, which began airing on Discovery’s Animal Planet in November of 2013, takes viewers on a wild ride into the secret lives of sloths, following their days as seen through the eyes of their caretakers: their nursery manager, a resident sloth scientist and the sanctuary’s founder. The cute factor reaches dangerously high levels in this entertaining and sometimes heartbreaking show that unveils much about these enigmatic creatures.
Seeing sloths in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, travelers have the opportunity to see both two and three-toed sloths, which are found in wet, lowland forests throughout the country. Three toed-sloths, or Hoffman’s, are much more common than the two-toed variety, and both can be seen at Cahuita’s sloth sanctuary.
Guaranteed National Parks for sloth sightings:
- Aviarios del Caribe (aka The Sloth Sanctuary) and Cahuita National Park
- Manuel Antonio National Park (and surrounds)
- Tortuguero National Park
- Corcovado National Park
Cool sloth facts you didn’t know
Named for their sloth-like behavior, recent research shows that sloths aren’t that lazy after all. For many years, it was thought that sloths slept 15 to 20 hours each day, but this number has been whittled down to between 9 and 10 for most wild inhabitants. Did you know that sloths are first-rate swimmers, and that their green-tinged fur is actually a habitat for symbiotic algae, which helps camouflage the animal from predators? The sloth’s diet mainly consists of leaves, fruit and twigs, which take up to a month for the sloth to digest. That is why they rarely descend to the forest floor to answer nature’s call. Most times, they only use the bathroom about once a week! With their strong grip strength, sloths even mate while hanging upside down.