Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to learn about our establishment and our sloths! We’re so happy to be able educate our local community and potentially the world about the life cycle of the sloth.
Sloth Encounters LI opened up in June of 2022 with the dream to connect the public with the most amazing animals in the world. We offer a once in a life time experience to come face to face with our sloths. With the capability to feed them their favorite foods, pet their soft fur, and hold the baby sloth, this is a dream come true for every age.
We currently have 7 Sloths at our facility. 6 Linnaeus Two-Toed sloths and 1 Hoffman Two-Toed sloth. Both of these species are native to Costa Rica, Honduras and really anywhere where it’s hot and humid in South America and both of these species are currently not endangered.
6 of our sloths, are 7-8 generation bred in captivity, this means they cannot go back into the wild because they have adapted to live captivity and to be cared for by humans. They have been "domesticated" and are used to humans and rely on us for their survival. They most likely wouldn’t survive on their own in the wild therefore they’re best cared for in sanctuaries or zoos.
We have one sloth, included in the 7 that is a rescue from the wild. He was illegally taken from the wild and he is currently being housed here and is adapting very well to his new habitat with his new brothers and sisters.
Sloths in the wild can live 20-30 years whereas sloths in captivity can live 30-40 years with the oldest living up to 50 years old! Sloths are proven to live longer in captivity. This is because in the wild they’re exposed to deforestation, electrical fences, poachers, and natural predators where in captivity they have access to veterinary care, and proper environmental regulations.
This being said, we keep our sloth habitat to a strict temperature and humidity to mimic the conditions that they flourish in. Sloths need heat because they dont have enough energy to shiver and they need high humidity because the skin on their noses, hands, and feet would dry out, crack and bleed without it. The humidity provides them with a nice natural moisturizer which is why our sloths’ nose, hands and feet are so smooth.
Speaking of smooth, a sloths fur is incredibly soft. In the wild their hair grows to be much more coarse and will grow algae on it. They use this algae as food for their babies, and for camouflage. Within that algae there is a whole ecosystem and scientists have been looking within that ecosystem for a cure for breast cancer! Because our conditions are very clean and the sloths have no predators, they don't grow algae on them, this doesn't hurt or affect their health at all.
These guys are very solitary animals. A two-toed sloth will pick one tree to live in its whole life and a three-toed sloth will pick two trees to live in its whole life. They dont have "packs" and will live on their own. Because they're solitary, this means they dont need a lot of room to move around or to migrate which makes our habitat perfect for their needs. They have more than enough room to roam around and do their own slothy thing.
Their eyes are also very sensitive to light and they can barley see in broad daylight. In dim light they can see lights and shadow thats why they’re naturally nocturnal! They usually hunt and do their moving in the evening/night when they can see a little better. Because their habitat here is always dim, they move around and eat whenever they please. They’re also deaf as well, only being able to hear very loud noises which they are not subjected to here at Sloth Encounters LI. Any casual conversation between our guests aren't heard by our sloths.
Here we feed them all their favorite foods. This includes butternut squash, blueberries, mangos, string beans, cherries, lettuce, and any other fruit and vegetables, as long as it’s not acidic. We feed them a variety of fruits and veggies; things that contain a lot of water because they dont go out of their way to drink on their own. We have water bowls, food bowls, and a water bath in their habitat for them by law but they get everything they need from the food we feed them.