Surprise is not usually a word associated with sloths, but that is exactly how I felt today when I spotted this guy in the tree next to me. I apologize - it’s a little shaky, the clicking of the camera is insanely annoying, and it cuts out right before the big “jump” happens. But, it was still a pretty special experience to not only spot a sloth, but to see it moving around up in the canopy. Also, I was operating the camera one-handed while swinging from a rope, so cut me some slack.
It also occurred to me that even though we generally think of these animals as being the slowest in the animal kingdom, it certainly moves through the tree much faster than I ever have. Sure, they’re anatomically adapted to do so, but it still doesn’t make you feel all that great about yourself.
This reminds me of an internship I had in college at an animal rescue center in Ecuador, where the only animal that ever consistently escaped from its enclosure was the three-toed sloth. It had a knack for pushing open the window and crawling toward the posts that held up the power lines, a behavior that eventually led to its unfortunate demise, but we don’t need to get into that.
Anyway, another animal sighting to put on the list! I’ll do my best to improve my filming skills, but so far things don’t look promising – I spent about 90 seconds thinking I was filming a peccary (wild pig) the other day only to realize I had hit the “off” button instead of the “record” button. Oh well…
Yale Grad Student.