I. Love. Sloths. If you know me personally, you’ll know it’s no secret. It has always been my dream to meet, hold, and feed a sloth.
December 2017 part of my dream became a reality. Josie the Sloth was rescued by the Oregon Zoo and they organized a Sloth Encounter to raise awareness about keeping these exotic animals as pets. While we couldn’t hold Josie, they let us feed her sweet potatoes.
Aside from getting to feed the very best animal of all time, I got to learn a bunch about sloths.
Did you know that most (if not all) sloths that are kept as pets were basically kidnapped from their natural environments? A lot of time, people will lead you to believe that you are rescuing them but it’s just not true.
Before we got to feed Josie, we sat and listened to her caretakers talk about the importance of awareness of exotic animals as pets. Like I mentioned above, a lot of the time sloths are taken from their natural environments and aren’t needing to be rescued. The previous owner of Josie was told that she was saving her and it got to the point where Josie’s diet and care were so much (because sloth) that she donated her to the zoo.
Josie was still being trained so we got to see the process in which they teach them how to move to a certain spot. It was quite interesting to see! Josie also tried to escape the tree a couple times and chilled at the bottom of the tree. It seemed weird for a sloth considering the next sloth fact.
Did you know that sloths only come down to do their toilet stuff once a week? Can you imagine?
I was the first one in our group to feed Josie and I was almost in tears. I feel like she and I had a connection and I already warned Husband that if Josie becomes a permanent display at the zoo we are getting a zoo membership so I can visit her every weekend.
It was an amazing experience that I am so grateful for. The whole time the caretakers were warning us that if Josie was feeling overwhelmed, the sloth encounter would be canceled. There was only ten of us in the room (the maximum) and the total time of the encounter was 30 minutes. Even though I paid $75 just to feed a sloth, it was well worth it. The money goes to the care of the animals at the Oregon Zoo and it is an experience that I will never forget.
I’m not sure if the zoo is still doing the sloth encounters but keep a look out on their webpage if you are visiting or live in Portland. I definitely would recommend this experience to any other sloth enthusiasts.
Also, if you want to to adopt a sloth but don’t want to disrupt or kidnap a sloth from their habitat (please don’t do that), you can adopt a sloth here from the World Wildlife Foundation. Your donation will help ensure that animals like the sloth can have habitats and protection. (This is not sponsored but if the WWF wants to team up with me send me an email!)
What is your favorite animal? Share it with me below!