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General questions

Can I volunteer, intern, work or help with veterinary needs at the Sanctuary?

Can I touch / hold / hug a sloth?

How do I schedule the Insider’s Tour?

How do I book the Buttercup Inn?

I’m taking a cruise that stops in Puerto Limon and want to take your Buttercup Tour. How do I arrange this?

Can I buy a Gift Certificate?

Can you send me some sloth photos or videos for my personal project / scavenger hunt / joke / birthday / surprise / proposal?

Why is it that some sloths cannot be released back into the wild?

Can I keep a sloth as a pet?

Why does the Sloth Sanctuary rescue sloths? How are they in trouble?

Can I “adopt” a sloth?
Can I volunteer, intern, work or help with veterinary needs at the Sanctuary?
We appreciate your interest in sloths and desire to contribute, but we’re not hiring volunteers, interns or staff. As Costa Rica is still a developing country, we feel obligated to hire local Costa Ricans and offer veterinary clinical rotations solely to university students that reside in Costa Rica. Thank you for understanding. top of page


Can I touch / hold / hug a sloth?
Only Sanctuary staff can touch or handle sloths. You may see photos or videos online of our former volunteers holding sloths. But in 2014, we were alarmed to discover from a scientific standpoint how stressful and dangerous it is for sloths to be held by strangers. Sloths appear outwardly calm, but they experience an abnormally rapid heart rate. Another reason to not touch: travelers bring foreign microbes and allergens that can compromise a sloth’s immune system. Sloths have unpredictable self-defense behaviors, including biting and scratching. For their safety and yours, please do not touch, hold or hug sloths. top of page

And please keep away from roadside scammers who let you hold a sloth for a photo. They simply knock an innocent sloth out of its tree, exploit it for quick money, then allow the animal to die from lack of nutrition. When the next tourist comes along who wants to hold a sloth for a photo, they repeat this inhumane practice. It’s literally the opposite of the work we do. Please do not perpetuate this exploitation.


How do I book the Insider’s Tour?
Request availability on the Insider’s Tour page. Prepay by PayPal (only a major credit card is needed) and bring your paid invoice when you arrive. top of page


How do I book the Buttercup Inn?
Request availability at our Buttercup Inn page. Taking the Insider’s Tour is required to stay at the Inn. A $25 facilities fee and the tour are invoiced by PayPal (only a major credit card is needed). Once paid, your booking is secure. Please bring your paid invoice when you arrive. Rooms are not prepaid; payment required at check-out.  top of page


I’m taking a cruise that stops in Puerto Limon and want to take your Buttercup Tour. How do I arrange this?
Tours are available from Tuesday to Sunday and start at the top of the hour from 8AM–2PM. No advance reservations are needed. Please arrive 15–20 minutes before the tour starts so you can register, pay and be ready when the tour begins. At port there are always taxis waiting for passengers to disembark. We recommend pre-arranging your return with your driver. Drive time is about 30–40 minutes and fare is approximately $35 USD.  top of page


Can I buy a Gift Certificate?
Gift Certificate sampleYes! For an Insider’s Tour Gift Certificate, simply contact us at Tours@SlothSanctuary.com, with your request, the name and email address of the recipient and any customized gift message you’d like on the Gift Certificate. It will be emailed to you or to the recipient as an attractive, colorful, printable PDF file. If you know the date of the visit, we’ll check availability and secure your booking once payment is received. We can still send the gift certificate even if the tour date is not yet known. Your booking will be secured when we receive payment of the PayPal invoice. You only need a major credit card to use PayPal!

We accept reservations for up to a year from the current date and the certificate is redeemable for two years from the issue date. If not redeemed, it will be considered a donation to the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. Thank you for your support of the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica! top of page


Can you send me some sloth photos or videos for my personal project / scavenger hunt / joke / birthday / surprise / proposal?
No. Unless you have a media request, we cannot send photos for your personal project. There are lots of excellent images of sloths online, but please credit the source. top of page


Why is it that some sloths cannot be released back into the wild?
While rescued/released adult sloths have a better chance of survival in the wild, rescued infant sloths lack essential survival skills and a robust immune system. Orphaned/abandoned infants did not stay with their mothers long enough to learn which leaves to eat, how to avoid predators, how to safely transfer to other foraging areas. We try our best to substitute-teach rescued infants these life skills and help build their immunity against disease. Our research efforts are continually reviewing ways that abandoned/orphaned sloths can be returned to their habitat without jeopardizing their health and longevity. top of page


Can I keep a sloth as a pet?
No. The resident sloths are not pets; they have been rescued from the wild and are in various stages of rehabilitation. In Costa Rica, it is illegal to keep a sloth as a pet. Even if your country does not specifically exclude sloths, do not keep a sloth as a pet. Sloths are not domesticated; they need to be allowed to live freely in the forest close to their food source. top of page


Why does the Sloth Sanctuary rescue sloths? How are they in trouble?
We rescue sloths from environments that are not sustainable, such as urban/suburban areas where there are few trees (sloths’ protection and food source) and perils created by human encroachment into the sloths’ natural habitat. Sloths are victims of power line electrocution, being hit by cars, dog attacks, exploitation and the like—injuries related to human activity. Sure, some people may feel it’s more natural to let an injured animal live a diminished life without an arm or to die a long, painful death by infection. But because the injuries were caused by humans taking over the sloths’ habitat, we believe the humane and compassionate route is to remove them from the area, help them heal and care for the disabled ones or allow the rehabilitated ones to return to their forest home. We are trying in our own way to preserve sloths from extinction. 50 years from now, it’s predicted there will be significantly less rainforest and even fewer sloths. Why not try to act now to save them while we can? top of page


Can I “adopt” a sloth?
Yes, we offer a symbolic adoption program. Please see our Compadres page for details. top of page