I spotted a new three toed baby sloth yesterday. Read about its family tree.
I take the dogs for a walk on the farm twice a day. It gives me a chance to inspect the land, make sure that the gate is shut and say hello to all of the birds and animals. If I am walking in the morning I hear the darting sounds of the Jesus Christ lizards dashing back into the woods as I have interrupted their sun tanning session. If I am walking in the afternoon I check on Stinky, a larger female three-toed sloth. who resides in a tall tree just outside the guest cabins and Carl Jr. who lives in and around our yellow bamboo patch. Two thirty in the afternoon is the best time to catch them moving around in search of food. Sloths sleep up tp 20 hours a day so it is always a pleasure to see them puttering around in the trees.
Sloth family tree
Stinky was originally thought to be a boy, hence the harsh name, but as you can see by this video we figured out that she is a she when we saw a tiny furry sloth baby on her back. This video was shot back in January of 2012. It’s a tad dramatic but we were excited. You may have seen it.
We named the little baby sloth that you see towards the end of that video Carl Jr. because Big Carl was the visiting male who came on to the farm to see Stinky after she made her mating calls for about three nights. So Carl Jr. became the second sloth to look for during our walks. Sometimes he was there in the big tree moving around and other times we had to search through the bamboo stalks to find him. Sometimes we couldn’t find him at all so we figured that he was out on a date with a local female.
Well yesterday we realized that we also misjudged the sex of this sloth and that Carl Jr. is really Carla when we came upon this yesterday, our new baby.
Ladies and Gentlemen please allow me to introduce Carla, previously Carl Jr. You can not see the new baby from this angle but it is hanging on by its cute little furry arms. She deserves some love. She did just go through sloth birth after all.
The Baby Daddy
This guy is the visiting male who was kind enough to mate with Carla to give us the new baby. We didn’t give him a name because we were pretty sure he wasn’t sticking around. Now, he will be known as Big Poppa. The video of his visit is below the photo. We heard a plop in the small creek while we were grilling out one day. It was in June of 2013 which indicates a gestation period of around 7-8 months.
Obviously, sloths are much more comfortable in the trees than on the ground. So awkward!
Two Toed Sloth
The three-toed sloths above just happen to be within viewing distance during our walks. We know that we have other sloths that live here on the farm, like this two-toed sloth below. When we walk through our forest we see poop near the bases of trees so we know that more sloths make their homes here but the foliage is so dense in there that we normally only spot them when they come to the forest’s edge.
This guy (or girl we just don’t know any more) was really active just before a thunderstorm one day. The fastest moving sloth we have ever seen. Notice the difference in the faces of the two and three toed types. The two-toed sloth makes me want to change the “when pigs fly” saying to “when pigs climb”.
The new baby will only be with Carla for about a year and then will have to find its own area of vegetation to eat from. Trees are being cut down at an alarming rate on the farms behind us so we expect to be getting more and more sightings (if the sloths survive the fall when the tree comes down). Their habitat is endangered which also makes them endangered. Sloths can live up to 40 years and they can weigh up to 40 pounds. We are lucky to have 22 acres of trees in the middle of the cow farms, the deforestation and the palm oil plantations. We just hope that it is enough to sustain the wildlife that is escaping the horrors up in the mountains.