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International Sloth Day

International Sloth Day

Hang out and celebrate International Sloth Day, which takes place on the third Thursday in October — on October 20 this year. Sloths are slow-moving mammals often found in Central and South America. The two major types are the two-toed and three-toed sloths. Although sloths look like some kind of furry bear/monkey, their closest relatives are anteaters and armadillos.

HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL SLOTH DAY
This international holiday was first created by the foundation AIUNAU, a program dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife in Columbia. AIUNAU first started working with sloths in 1996, and has worked to promote their cause ever since. Per AIUNAU: “There is a lot that sloths can teach us — respect, tenderness, joy.”

Sloths spend their lives in the tropical rain forests. They move slowly — covering about 40 yards per day, munching on leaves and twigs. Sloths have an exceptionally low metabolic rate and spend 15 to 20 hours per day sleeping. These long-armed animals are also excellent swimmers. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are two different types of sloths — two-toed and three-toed — and a total of six species:

*Pygmy three-toed sloth
*Maned sloth
*Pale-throated sloth
*Brown-throated sloth
*Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth
*Hoffman’s two-toed sloth

Their health depends on our tropical rainforests — which remain at risk. The WWF works with communities, governments and companies to encourage sustainable forestry. Without them, sloths will lose their shelter and food source.

Unfortunately, when sloths periodically venture to the forest floor, they can do little to protect themselves from predators. That’s partially due to the fact that their limbs are adapted only for hanging and grasping, not for supporting their weight. Muscles make up only 25 to 30 percent of their total body weight — compared to 40 to 45 percent for other mammals.

Animal traffickers pose yet another threat — despite the fact that sloths do not make for good pets.

INTERNATIONAL SLOTH DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Create sloth crafts
Craft your own sloth decorations! You can use all sorts of materials from felt fabric to paper plates. You can make a plush sloth for a friend or create an activity for kids. You can find more sloth cut-out instructions online or from books at your local library.

2.Follow the sloth’s guide to life
If there was ever a day meant to take it slow, today is that day! Unwind at home or enjoy your surroundings by visiting places you never have never been before. You can achieve this by strolling through the park, eating your favorite foods, and working on hobbies.

3.Watch movies with sloths
Enjoy National Sloth Day by spending a lazy hour watching movies with sloths in them. Our list includes “Zootopia,” “The Croods,” and any “Ice Age” film!

​5 FACTS ABOUT THE DAILY LIFE OF A SLOTH
1.They’re s-l-o-w
​Because sloths have a slow metabolic process they usually only relieve themselves once per week.

​2.Just hanging around
​Sloths are arboreal animals, meaning they spend most of their lives in trees.

​3.Camouflage at a whole new level
​A sloth’s fur hosts a vast ecosystem of moths, bugs, and algae — which taints their furs green and is used as camouflage in the trees.

4.Are you looking at me?
​Three–toed sloths are able to turn their heads nearly 360 degrees.

5.Aging gracefully
When sloths survive possible poachers and captors, they can live anywhere between 10 and 30 years!

WHY WE LOVE INTERNATIONAL SLOTH DAY
A. They are downright adorable
It’s nearly impossible to look at sloths and not gush. Their fur is thick and soft — and their eyes are big pools of warmth. From their casual vibe, to their permanent smiles, they beam beauty.

B. Sloths are master of zen
Sure, sloths have their moments, but they are so mesmerizing to watch as they rest in trees and stay serene for what seems like an eternity . It’s no wonder sloths are so popular.

C. They can get aggressive — if necessary.
Although sloths have peaceful demeanors, wild sloths can be aggressive and bite very hard. If caught by a predator on land you are likely to hear a sloth hissing, or shrieking. Visitors at a sloth nursery should not get too close.

References:

“International Sloth Day” │ https://nationaltoday.com/international-sloth-day/

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