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Finding Freedom: A New Comic Series About Sloth Education and Conservation

The Sloth Institute

“Finding Freedom” is a brand new sloth conservation comic series based on true stories from The Sloth Institute. The story stars a young Sam Trull, TSI’s Co-Founder & Sloth Director, doodled by illustrator Vivian Nguyen. Click to enlarge.

Finding freedom comic strip

Click to enlarge.

Follow the continuing story of “Finding Freedom” on Instagram @findingfreedom_aslothstory

ABOUT THE SLOTH INSTITUTE

The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please visit TheSlothInstitute.org or email us: info@theslothinstitute.org. If you see a sloth who needs help: CALL or WHATSAPP +506 87SLOTHS 7 5 6 8 4 7.


TSI HOPES ACUPUNCTURE CAN HELP AN INJURED SLOTH NAMED DOLLY

The Sloth InstituteAn electrocuted 2-fingered sloth rescued by The Sloth Institute undergoes experimental acupuncture treatment, thanks to Rafiki Chiropractic Care. For humans and some domestic animals, acupuncture has commonly been used to treat a variety of health issues, from physical disabilities to neurological issues. In the special case of Dolly, an adult female 2-fingered sloth, an electrocution from a power line left her severely injured. Her left eye was damaged and her right arm had lost some of its mobility. The Sloth Institute came to the rescue and gave her immediate critical care.

Dolly receiving acupunctureFortunately, her eye healed and regained full functionality. But Dolly showed signs that she had lost some motor skills in her right arm. Acupuncture has successfully treated humans, dogs and cats. Could this treatment help sloths? Dr. Constant Boshoff, BSc D.C., who practices at Rafiki Chiropractic Care in Manuel Antonio, is willing to find out. He has generously donated several treatment sessions of acupuncture with electrical stimulation, which, according to Dr. Boshoff, “reinforces the acupuncture stimulation. We will see how she responds after six weeks.” Dr. Boshoff loves animals. “The little I can do is only a pleasure,” he added.

Follow Dolly’s story! Visit TheSlothInstitute.org or facebook.com/TheSlothInstitute and check out “Sloth Diaries.”

ABOUT THE SLOTH INSTITUTE

The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please visit TheSlothInstitute.org or email us: info@theslothinstitute.org. If you see a sloth who needs help: CALL or WHATSAPP +506 87SLOTHS 7 5 6 8 4 7.


SLOTH SPEEDWAYS ARE SAVING LIVES and you can help to create more!

The Sloth Institute
Sloth crossing the roadDeforestation in the rainforest is causing sloths to lose vital connections to their homes, food, and safety. When trees are cut down, sloths try to find other ways to travel—they climb on to electrical wires or they try to cross the road. They end up being killed or badly maimed. The Sloth Institute has treated sloths who survived, but some have lost eyes and limbs after being electrocuted or hit by cars.

SLOTH SPEEDWAYS are rope bridges that sloths and other wildlife utilize to travel throughout the rainforest. Today, they have become more important than ever. SLOTH SPEEDWAYS reconnect the
rainforest so that sloths and all wildlife can continue to access their known resources to food and safety. The animals need many more SLOTH SPEEDWAYS, and we need your help.

Sloth on rope bridgeABOUT THE SLOTH INSTITUTE

The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please visit TheSlothInstitute.org or email us: info@theslothinstitute.org.

Dolly was rescued after being electrocuted. Luckily, TSI was able to save her injured eye.

Dolly was rescued after being electrocuted. Luckily, TSI was able to save her injured eye.

If you see a sloth who needs help: CALL or WHATSAPP +506 87SLOTHS (756847)


The Sloth Institute in Costa Rica is leading the world in sloth research conservation

The Sloth InstituteThe Sloth Institute (TSI), based in Manuel Antonio, is leading the rest of the world in efforts to research the behavioral ecology of wild, rehabilitating and released sloths after rehabilitating two three-fingered sloths called Destiny and Pocahontas—two of the few three-fingered sloths in Costa Rica to be successfully rehabilitated from a very young age and returned into the wild.

TSI, which is a not-for-profit organization, aims to research captive, wild and recently released sloths, so that scientists and animal-lovers all over the world might better understand the internet’s favorite slowpokes, as well as ensuring the conservation of sloths and providing care for injured sloths so they can be released.
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You Don’t Have To Be an Expert to Be a Sloth Warrior

The Sloth Instituteby Sam Trull, Co-Founder and Sloth Director of The Sloth Institute

Abusing sloths for selfie tourism is one of the conservation issues that The Sloth Institute (TSI) is very passionate about correcting, but it is one that we often thought would never happen in our “backyard”. Most of the online evidence (photos and videos) of sloths being abused for hugs and photos from tourists originates in other countries, countries that are more ‘well known’ for their wildlife trafficking. But the truth is that these kinds of wildlife crimes DO happen in Costa Rica, even if they are better disguised.

Someone may tell you they “rescued” this sloth but now it’s so used to humans that it cannot be released back into the wild. This is a lie. Someone may tell you that the sloth is happy you are giving it a hug, because look…it is smiling! This is a lie. Someone may tell you that wild sloths don’t mind living in captivity because they are lazy anyways and don’t move much. This is a lie. The people who commit these crimes are getting savvy. They know their audience is trying to pay attention, but even a caring tourist can get fooled.

The bottom line: Never participate in tourism that encourages you to pet, feed or take photos with wildlife (especially sloths).

Esperanza

Esperanza

Esperanza is a young juvenile three-fingered sloth that was rescued here in Costa Rica by the government from this selfish tourism scheme. After a thorough health check by myself and our vet friends at Toucan Rescue Ranch, we released her into the jungle.

Luckily, she is now wild and free and being tracked daily by our expert TSI sloth trackers. Since being set free into the jungle where she belongs, she has gained 1 kilogram (nearly doubling her original weight) in just 6 months. This is a testament to sloths being healthier and happier in the wild with the freedom to make their own choices about their own lives. We can stop this industry together.

Don’t Be Selfi(e)sh … #SayNOtoSlothSelfies

The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please email info@theslothinstitute.org.

If you see a sloth who needs help: ALL or WHATSAPP +506 87756847/87SLOTHS.


The Sloth Institute – September/October 2018

Sloth Institute header

Sad Face icon1. Depression

Wild sloths held in captivity become stressed and unhappy.

Leaf icon2. Destruction of Forests

Forests need sloths to be healthy and balanced.

Medical icon3. Diseases

Sloths may host different parasites, viruses, and infections that can pass to humans with one touch!

Graph icon4. Depletion

The wild sloth population suffers with each sloth taken from the wild.

X icon5. Death

Many captive sloths die due to the stress of transport and an improper diet.

Don’t Be Selfi(e)sh … #SayNOtoSlothSelfies

The Sloth InstituteThe Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please email info@theslothinstitute.org.

If you see a sloth who needs help: ALL or WHATSAPP +506 87756847/87SLOTHS.


Meet Merlin: More Than a Pretty Face

Merlin the slothMerlin is a wild sloth that we have been tracking since February. Through the use of binoculars, we recently discovered that he had acquired a serious fungal infection. However, our team is actively treating him with special baths! He will lose a lot of hair in the process, but we know that with these treatments, he’s feeling a lot better already.

ADOPT MERLIN through TSI’s symbolic adoption program Adopt A Sloth on TheSlothInstituteCostaRica.org.

The Sloth InstituteFollow Merlin’s story on Facebook & Instagram @TheSlothInstitute #SlothDiaries.

The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s mission is to enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research and education. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please email info@theslothinstitute.org.

If you see a sloth who needs help: ALL or WHATSAPP +506 87756847/87SLOTHS.


Leave No Trace For Wildlife This Season

The Sloth InstituteBy Deanna Fisher, TSI Marketing Director

It’s no wonder why folks from around the world are rushing to Costa Rica for their vacation destination. With sprawling coastlines, lush rainforests, and many natural waterfalls, Manuel Antonio offers a unique slice of heaven for every vacation goer. The chance to observe wildlife around every corner provides a fantastic experience many seek while in the area. With these opportunities however come the responsibility to treat wildlife with the respect they deserve and need. Here are 5 ways you can leave no trace during your time in Costa Rica:

sloth1. USE LESS PLASTIC

Single use plastics are a growing problem world-wide. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Do your part to use less by utilizing reusable shopping bags and/or refilling water bottles when out and about. Avoid using straws in beverages and be sure to throw them away in proper receptacles not leave them on the beach or alongside trails.

2. KEEP WILDLIFE WILD

Do not touch, get close to, or pick up wild
animals for a “better look”. It is stressful to the animal and is possible that the animal may
harbor diseases. Additionally, we can transmit bacteria that is harmful to them. Sick or wounded animals can bite, peck or scratch, sending you to the hospital. Instead, observe wildlife from a distance so they are not scared or forced to flee.

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Meet The Sloth Institute Costa Rica

The Sloth InstituteBy Deanna Fisher, TSI Marketing Director

You may have noticed the Sloth Mobile or members of Team Sloth around Manuel Antonio and wondered more of our purpose. Founded in 2014, The Sloth Institute Costa Rica (TSI) strives to expand scientific knowledge and education about the charismatic sloth species found in Costa Rica. The goal: to enhance sloths well-being and assure their conservation around the globe.

Rihanna the slothUtilizing the skills and passion of Team Sloth members has provided TSI the opportunity to expand our goals and vision with other like-minded institutions dedicated to preserving sloth’s place in the wild.

TSI’s ongoing dedication to research, specializing in the behavior, health and welfare of recently released, wild and captive sloths, has allowed for increased understanding of proper care and conservation needs of the species. With this new knowledge and successful reintroductions via Saving Sloths Together with Toucan Rescue Ranch, TSI continues to work to shift previous belief that hand-raised and captive sloths could not flourish in the wild. With every new release, we are confident in our belief that together, we can save sloths.

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 Leave No Trace For Wildlife This Season

The Sloth InstituteBy Deanna Fisher, TSI Marketing Director

It’s no wonder why folks from around the world are rushing to Costa Rica for their vacation destination. With sprawling coastlines, lush rainforests, and many natural waterfalls, Manuel Antonio offers a unique slice of heaven for every vacation goer. The chance to observe wildlife around every corner provides a fantastic experience many seek while in the area. With these opportunities however come the responsibility to treat wildlife with the respect they deserve and need.

Here are 5 ways you can leave no trace during your time in Costa Rica:

1. USE LESS PLASTIC

Single use plastics are a growing problem worldwide. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Do your part to use less by utilizing reusable shopping bags and/or refilling water bottles when out and about. Avoid using straws in beverages and be sure to throw them away in proper receptacles not leave them on the beach or alongside trails.

2. KEEP WILDLIFE WILD

Do not touch, get close to, or pick up wild animals for a “better look”.

It is stressful to the animal and is possible that the animal may harbor diseases. Additionally, we can transmit bacteria that is harmful to them. Sick or wounded animals can bite, peck or scratch, sending you to the hospital. Instead, observe wildlife from a distance so they are not scared or forced to flee.

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7 Ways to be a Responsible Sloth Tourist

The Sloth InstituteBy Deanna Fisher, TSI Marketing Director

Travelers from all over the world visit Costa Rica for it’s amazing scenery and vast wildlife. Spotting a variety of species is a highlight for anyone’s vacation with many people planning their trip around the opportunity to see one of earth’s most fascinating creatures up close, the sloth. Besides taking a tour of the National park or visiting a responsible animal rescue center, we know that people will come across sloths (and other wildlife) spontaneously. This is often the most exciting way to see a wild animal but there are a few things you need to remember to keep your vacation responsible and guilt free.

SAY NO TO SLOTH SELFIES

Being touched by humans causes sloths extreme stress! Never pay to touch, feed, or take a photo with a sloth. Sloths are wild animals! They can bite, scratch, and transmit diseases.

WHISPER

Loud noises are very stressful to sloths! Keep your voices low when around them and try not to make sudden movements or loud noises, including music and machinery.

NO LOITERING

Once you’ve had a good view of the sloth, please move along so the sloth can also get going. Sloths freeze when they are stressed. If you are too close to them, they will become unable to move and go about their business.

NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Bright lights are blinding to sloths, especially at night. Please only take photos WITHOUT flash.

DO NOT SPRAY BUG SPRAY OR SMOKE NEAR SLOTHS

Sloths have very sensitive lungs! Pesticides, bug sprays and smoke pollute the air. If you must use bug spray or smoke, walk away from all sloths so that they don’t breathe in the toxic fumes.

DRIVE SLOWLY & CAREFULLY

Sloths will cross roads to get to the other side, but they are no match for your vehicle. They need a lot of time to cross! Help sloths cross safely by stopping traffic & keeping people away.

SUPPORT ECO-FRIENDLY LOCAL BUSINESSES

Sloths need trees, clean water, and a healthy, connected forest to survive. Anything you do to protect the planet, helps protect sloths.

ABOUT THE SLOTH INSTITUTE COSTA RICA

www.TheSlothInstituteCostaRica.org The mission of The Sloth Institute Costa Rica is to protect and enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through research, education, and conservation programs. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For more information please email info@theslothinstitute.org. To donate visit tsi.charity.org. Let’s be social @TheSlothInstitute.


Stronger Together

Dory taste tastingBy Sam Trull, Wildlife/Sloth Director The Sloth Institute Costa Rica

Protecting wild animals and wild spaces is a battle. In some corners of the world it is an actual war zone, and I cannot adequately express how much I respect and admire everyone on the front lines of those conflicts. But even in less personally life threatening scenarios, we struggle to make sense of how this world can sometimes be so cruel. From actual disregard for the environment and animal life, to genuine accidents that highlight the tragic consequences associated with human encroachment on wild environments; every day presents a new challenge. Regardless of what battle you enter into…it’s always better to lock arms with an ally and fight together to accomplish bigger and better goals. In the fight to save sloths and return them to their jungle homes, we have decided to lock arms with the amazing staff at Toucan Rescue Ranch. Hearing the name…you may wonder what a toucan center and a sloth center have in common? But don’t let the name fool you! Toucan Rescue Ranch started with Toucans, but has actually been working with sloths for over 15 years. We work together, every day, to rescue, rehabilitate and release sloths that have been negatively affected by devastation to their environment. We make a great team combing excellent medical care, scientific research, field work and unwavering dedication to saving these animals and getting them back where they belong. Our partnership means that every sloth we care for receives the very best rehabilitation team and the very best scientific team to heal them and get them back to the wild where they belong. In addition we are able to learn from each patient and add to our ever growing data base on sloth behavioral ecology which ultimately helps entire populations survive in this ever changing world. As the next year begins, it is important that we all focus on what we can do to make this world a better place. By working together to save sloths and assure their conservation, we predict 2018 will be a very productive year!
The Sloth Institute logo

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The Harmful Effects of the Wildlife Selfie Craze

Young slothBy Sam Trull, Sloth Director/Co-Founder The Sloth Institute Costa Rica

Recently there has been a proliferation of wildlife selfies being posted on social media sites, with Instagram alone reporting an increase of 300%. And thankfully, there has been a huge response from the global community on the harm these selfies impose on wildlife. We get that some people just don’t realize that taking selfies with wildlife is simply not only harmful but unethical.

A recent video uncovered by the investigative work of “World Animal Protection” tells a horrific story. Trees are being chopped down and sloths are being ripped out of trees and are passed around from tourist to tourist as if they were a toy. These sloths are wild animals and show all the signs of being in stress when taken from their environment. An average tourist thinks that the sloths outstretched arms are a sign of the sloths posing when in fact it means they are in high stress mode.The Sloth Institute logo

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Pest or Pal

Procyon cancrivorus headerWhy raccoons are important and what to do when they invade your home.

By Paola Alvarado, SINAC officer and Sam Trull, Sloth Director of TSI

This may seem like a strange article to appear in the TSI Quepolandia slot, but this month we have teamed up with local SINAC officer, Paola Alvarado, to remind you that even the least popular animals play an important role in our ecosystem. Your first, and maybe only impression of a raccoon may be that of a ‘thief’ in the night. Raccoons seem to be masters at getting exactly where we don’t want them to be: inside roofs, walls, trash bins and even outdoor kitchens! They are so smart, that once they have figured out how to get into an area, it can be very difficult to get them out. They are able to unzip bags, open lids, if you handed them a key, they would probably even unlock doors (ok, maybe that’s a stretch)! But raccoons can actually benefit people by eating mice, rats and unwanted insects. It is always important to remember that ultimately, we have invaded their jungle home and it’s our responsibility to make the relationship work.

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