Ngebray.com,- If these eyes, this panting nose and that hanging tongue have you suddenly feeling teary-eyed, you’re not alone. Sloths can have that effect on people. A two-toed sloth called Arana at Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York where she’s not just a star, she’s arguably the star. Faces like her didn’t always draw crowds.
A zoo director Ted Fox explains that sloths used to be the animals visitors knew very little about. And what they did know, they didn’t like. He said, “Whenever they saw them move, it was always slow, so they kinda got this weird and not particularly good reputation about what they were like”. A very old reputation. 18th century French biologist Georges-Louis Leclerc called the sloth as the lowest form of existence, noting its slowness, stupidity, and neglect of its own body. Too harsh?
Consider their primary daytime activity, rolled up in a ball sleeping. Sloth is one of the seven cardinal sins, after all. But more recently, anti-sloth attitudes have started to change, slowly. In 2002, Sid the sloth was given a starting role in the movie Ice Age. And then, ten years later, a video of actress Kristen Bell sobbing about a sloth that aired on national TV went viral. Disney’s Zootopia took sloth fever to the next level last year, with its casting of sloths as the sole employees of the DMV. It’s been sloth mania ever since.
Zoos across the country have been flooded with requests for one on one encounters with sloths. Ted Fox said, “Kids expecially will squeal when they see her. It’s not uncommon at all for us to see kids, and honestly adults too, they get teary about getting that close and making that connection that the feel so strongly about”. Plus, living life in slow mo is just interesting. Like the real reason sloths hang upside down and move so slowly? So they can blend into their surroundings and avoid predators. And kids love this one.
Sloths only go to the bathroom once a week. Which makes sense when you consider the fact that it takes them 30 days to digest a single leaf.
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