Have I mentioned how much I love sloths? One of my dreams, in fact, is one day to share Reiki with a sloth. (If only I could be so lucky!)
I have sloths on the mind because October 20, my dear friends, is International Sloth Day. Woo! This special day was created six years ago by the AIUNAU Foundation in Colombia, which helps sloths and other animals that are either injured or the victims of illegal wildlife trafficking—with the goal of rehabilitating the animals and then releasing them back into the wild.
Sadly, one of sloths’ biggest threats in Central and South America is the illegal pet trade. People actually think they can keep sloths as pets, which is not just illegal, but also harmful for the animal, which relies on a complicated and specialized leaf-based diet. Other threats include climate change, deforestation and predators. But working hard toward saving sloths should be a priority worldwide—for saving sloths can actually save people from diseases, as this article in The Dodo points out.
The three-toed sloth is the slowest mammal on earth.
There are a few things we can all do to help sloths. In addition to living as green as possible in your daily life, you can volunteer at a nonprofit that helps sloths. (Dream come true!) The Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center and the Colombia Sloth Sanctuary are two possibilities. You can also donate to hard-working nonprofits like AIUNAU mentioned above or The Sloth Institute.
(Please note: Former vets from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica have recently come out with really terrible reviews of the deplorable conditions there. So instead of donating there, consider signing this petition to save the sloths in danger at this particular sanctuary.)
Another thing we can all do to celebrate sloths today and year-round is to find small ways to raise their profile in the world. You can talk about sloths with your friends and family (if they’ll listen), and share photos and articles about their plight with your social networks. Or amazingly cute videos like this one of a yawning baby sloth (warning: my heart just exploded watching this):
If you are a sloth lover like me, you can wear it loud and proud with an adorable T-shirt like these:
Sloth on a bike:
Or a sloth stuffed animal for your bed or couch (why not?):
Or heart-warming sloth picture books for your coffee table:
Do you love sloths as much as me? Have you ever shared Reiki with a sloth? Share your sloth stories in the comments below.