Q: Why can’t some sloths be released back into the wild?
A: Most of the sloths that arrive at the Sanctuary have been injured, orphaned, kept illegally as pets and sometimes even abused. We have opened our Sanctuary to give the general public an opportunity to learn about them, their diminishing habitat, and the role that humans play in all of this.
Infant sloths that have been orphaned lack the basic survival skills necessary to thrive successfully in the wild. They were not with their mothers long enough to learn the valuable lessons of which leaves to eat, how to climb high in the canopy to avoid predators and other critical skills. The Sanctuary staff teaches orphaned infants how to climb, eat and other behaviors they would have learned from their mothers. Unfortunately releasing these hand-raised babies into the wild would result in a very high mortality rate.
The 30-year commitment necessary to care for each infant sloth brought to the Sanctuary is significant. Our research efforts are continually reviewing ways in which sloths can be transitioned into the wild without jeopardizing their health and longevity.
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