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International Sloth Day and Contest

International Sloth Day and Contest

Did you know that October 20 is International Sloth Day? Sounds like a good excuse to take it easy that day! 

In celebration of International Sloth Day, Visit Costa Rica has launched an Instagram giveaway for 10 lucky winners to receive a virtual behind-the-scenes visit and sloth-spotting experience at the Natuwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Costa Rica. The giveaway will end on Monday, Oct. 19 at 6pm EST, and winners will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 20.


Sloth Spotting in Costa Rica

Of the six sloth species in the world, Costa Rica is home to two unendangered subspecies – the Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus Hoffmanni) and Three-Toed Brown Sloth (Bradypus Variegatus). Both species are typically spotted in tree canopies around the country, though they can be difficult to spot as their fur blends in well with the vegetation. Whilst sloths can be spotted all throughout Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park, Limón, Monteverde, the Osa Peninsula, Arenal, and Tortuguero are great places to start.

It is recommended that travelers book tours with responsible and knowledgeable guides, who can easily spot sloths from a distance using a telescope. It is important to remember that petting, touching and holding a sloth (or any wild animal) in Costa Rica is illegal.

How to Safely View a Sloth

Travelers are invited to take photographs of Costa Rica’s wildlife, however, the Government of Costa Rica provides a series of recommendations to avoid cruelty to animals and support environmental conservation efforts in the country through its #StopAnimalSelfies campaign. The Government recommends that travelers avoid hugging or holding wild animals, as this promotes the exploitation of wildlife and can put the individual and animal in danger. Practice responsible tourism by keeping a safe distance from the animal when taking photos. 

By paying for experiences at wildlife rescue centers, travelers can also help sloths and other wild animals return to nature. Several organizations invite you to adopt a wild animal and support their rehabilitation. You will receive an adoption certificate, as well as photos and updates on the animal.

Did You Know?

  • Sloths can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes underwater and are great swimmers

  • Sloths only go to the bathroom once a week

  • Sloths have coarse, thick fur – a perfect location for algae and fungus to grow

  • Sloths can turn their heads 270 degrees in either direction due to extra vertebrae in their spine

  • Sloths have finger bones that are four-inches long

  • Sloths love their alone time

  • The average sloth lives between 20 to 30 years

  • It takes up to a month for sloths to digest one meal, as their stomachs have four compartments

  • Armadillos and Anteaters are their closest relatives

  • Sloths sleep up to 20 hours per day

Source: NJF

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