While looking at this picture I always get this happy feeling. This is somehow one of the cutest I have seen hanging in a tree: the Pale throated Sloth. Not only is it one of the cutest, but it is also one of our frequent visitors in Kabalebo.
Besides hummingbirds and the ocelots, we have seen this fellow quite often near the lodge. Usually by accident. After leaving his spot from his favorite tree, he often loses track of how to return back. We see him crawling on the airstrip, without a clue. Most of the time during the afternoon, when the sun is really bright.
We first let him cool off in the shadow for a short time and after a quick photo shoot, we let him go. But as you can see, he was in no rush. Sloths are known as the slowest mammal in the world, no wonder.
This is a male three-toed sloth, more specific a Pale throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). He has a nice mark on his back that earns him the name 'Sonloiri' in Suriname. Sonloiri means literally sun sloth. He is a solitary animal but that doesn't bother him at all.
Sloths are known as slow movers and spend most of their day sleeping in a tree. As you can see he also did a little nap, but it was for a short while. More like a power nap. Somehow I really feel fortunate and content every time I see his face.
Time to go back!
Pale throated sloths are solitary wild animals. So that also means that it is time to let him go too, back in the trees. This is where his claws come in handy. On the ground they are helpless and their claws are more of an obstacle rather than an advantage. Interesting to add is that their fur is also home for greenish algae. So practically the fur of the sloth runs a world by itself. Their fur also resembles a termite nest. That is their camouflage trick to escape from their predators (Harpy eagles, Jaguars or humans).
Sloths are herbivores; plant- or leaf eaters (more often from the Cecropia obtuse tree also known as the Bush papaya tree in Suriname)
As you can see, in the picture below, this Pale throated sloth doesn't live very far from the lodge. He feels right at home there so why bother to keep him as a pet?