~ by Mike Graeber
Have you ever seen someone totally overcome by cuteness? Well, it happens every day at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary sloth enclosure. We currently have 8 baby sloths; 6 are two-toed and 2 are three- toed. Right now, this animal is the most popular in the world, and seems to have out-cuted even the Pandas and Koalas. People melt at the sight of these babies, and many break down in tears with just one look.
All of our beautiful baby sloths have come from the same situation, abandoned by their mothers. The sad truth is that if a mother sloth has twins, she will discard one, so there is only one baby; she drops it, most often she will not go down to retrieve it from the ground.
The other part of sloth care that is difficult is that once we have a baby, the odds are that it will be here for life.
This is because, as humans, we cannot train the baby to feed itself in its natural habitat. In the wild, under normal circumstances, a baby sloth will stay with its mother about 2 years, since it takes that long for the baby to learn how to feed itself.
Humans really have very little understanding of the sloth feeding patterns, as well as many other aspects of the sloth’s life. No one knows what a sloth life span is! Now we have 8 baby sloths; maybe in a year, there will be 15 to 20 sloths here; in 5 years there may be as many as 50!
It does not matter to us here at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary how many sloths come to us for help. We will meet the needs of every one of these sloths, and are making plans right now for new sloth accommodations.