Featured photo for Sloth Sanctuary

Sloth Sanctuary

You can thank Tori, Facebook, and Heidi the cross-eyed opossum for this post.

Yes, somehow an e-mail thread initiated by Tori delved from Facebook to an opossum to sloths. While neither of the two animals have a huge amount in common with each other—or Mark Zuckerberg for that matter—we probably would not have heard of (much less gone to) the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica were it not for them.

The thread started out like this:

Subject: cross-eyed opossum has Facebook page

ok – maybe I should start to worry a bit when an expat crossed-eyed opossum has a facebook page …and I don’t.
Am I truly the last one standing that is facebookless?!

cute video though

This is the video she was referring to:


In response, a friend of Tori and mine forwarded the following:

Yes, an opossum has more virtual friends than you. Hmmm… is that a good or a bad thing is really the question?

Now here are some critters without a Facebook page who are definitely cuter—or as one of my Facebook AND real life friends said, “Get out your insulin shots, this is so damn cute.”

along with the following Meet the Sloths video clip:


(I suppose now is a good time to give some credit to You Tube, Vimeo and Facebookless’ friend too.)

Anyhow, seeing how cute the sloths were in the last video—and that they were living in Costa Rica—Tori decided that we must add the Sloth Sanctuary to the list of places we were going to visit on our Costa Rican vacation.

It turns out this was a good addition. The Sloth Sanctuary (a.k.a. Sloth Center, Sloth Orphanage, Sloth Rescue)—located in Aviaros del Caribe north of Cahuita on the Caribbean coast—rescues and rehabilitates ill and injured sloths before releasing them back out to the wild. For $25, we were given a tour of their center including an informative (but often inaccurate, according to the tour guide) video about two- and three-toed sloths, a visit with the resident adult sloths, a tour of the sloth nursery, and lastly, a canoe tour of wildlife on the Estrella River.

Of course, the main reason to come here was to say hello to the sloths. Here was one of them:


But we also saw other wildlife, including this garceta nivosa (snowy egret):


and this tree-climbing monkey:


We also saw bats, butterflies, lizards, crabs, and even an underwater cayman.

Unfortunately, we did not see any opossums. I don’t even know if they exist in Costa Rica, although according to Wikipedia they do habitat the Caribbean, Mexico, and other parts of South America.

Still, I bet Heidi the cross-eyed opossum would be happy to know that she was responsible for some of the love imparted to those cute Costa Rican sloths.

A sloth lounging around at the Sloth Sanctuary.
A blue crab.
Murcielagos (bats).
Snowy egret.
Banana flower.
Raquel with a tonguey sloth.
Tori with the tonguey sloth.
I liked this sign for the men's bathroom.
The sign for the women's bathroom was cute too.
Felix Wong inside the gift shop at the Sloth Sanctuary.
An adult sloth inside the Sloth Sanctuary.
Our tour guide with one of the larger adult sloths.
The sloth nursery.
The baby sloths had been bathed in an orange solution to prevent mange.
The tour guide with a baby sloth.
A baby sloth eating a leaf.
Tori on our see-the-creatures canoe trip on the Estrella River.
A lizard.
The Sloth Sanctuary.