How do you teach young sloths to climb trees? Why, with a rocking chair of course!
Sloths are one of the more intriguing mammals on the planet. Baby sloths double the attraction by adding a big dose of adorableness.
At the Toucan Rescue Ranch – a wildlife rehabilitation center in Costa Rica – young orphaned sloths are a star attraction, with nothing more than their wonderfully adorable faces and snail’s pace movements.
Rehabilitators use rocking chairs to help teach the little two- and three-toed creatures how to climb, as the rocking motion mimics the swaying of trees in the wild.
Zoologist and film maker Lucy Cooke is a passionate sloth advocate, among other unusual creatures. Cooke is “on a one-woman crusade to show the world why some of the most unlovable animals are actually the most interesting and deserving of our attention, study, and protection.”
Admittedly, she doesn’t have to work too hard to make baby sloths lovable. “You cannot resist an animal that was born to hug and has a natural smile.”
She’s done very well with her sloth documentaries and sloth books and calendars. She even runs the Sloth Appreciation Society, in an effort to bring more attention and conservation resources to the unique, slow moving animals.
Cooke says that the use of rocking chairs to train young sloths how to climb is both novel and effective. “It’s very important if you’re a sloth that you know how to climb a tree,” she says. “The rocking chair starts rocking and moving, and that’s why it’s such a brilliant way to teach them how to climb, because it mimics the movement of a tree, so it gets them used to something that’s not entirely stable.”
You can learn more about Cooke’s work with sloths, purchase her books and sloth calendars, and watch her famous sloth videos at her Slothville website.