A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Slo-o-ow Down, Kitties! Here Come the Sloths

The new Internet sensation


Buttercup, the world’s most famous sloth

They may never completely take over from cats as the Web’s favorite nonhuman. After all, they’re never going to type, play the piano or chase each other round the room.

But that’s the whole point. Sloths do everything slo-o-owly.

On the other hand, news and stories from a small sanctuary in Costa Rica have been going viral fast. As well as the debut of Too Cute – Baby Sloths on Animal Planet, more videos, photos, cartoons and memes all in motion online.

Start with a couple of trailers from the TV show. (In case you missed the premiere, it plays again this weekend.) Here’s bath time, complete with herbal massage:

And potty time – possibly a sloth’s most blissful activity:


After documentary-maker Lucy Cooke visited the sanctuary and posted her first videos of the baby sloths, the videos quickly went viral. Then Animal Planet picked up on the craze and paid a visit.

It all started when founder Judy Arroyo opened her front door and someone handed her a baby sloth.

I cupped the tiny animal in my hands and knew I had to do something. This baby sloth, who many of you know as Buttercup, was dying of starvation. Her mother was most likely dead and I was faced with a huge challenge. At the time, little was known about sloths, much less baby sloths. I was warned that I should let the baby go, that I would not be able to feed her, that I would only be prolonging the inevitable. I looked down at her little face and knew that I would do anything in my power to save this tiny sloth.

Today we are responsible for over 150 sloths. Many have been maimed by electric wires, or tortured by cruel humans. They require our constant attention. We love taking care for these adorable gentle animals, but we need your help.

Even when sloths tussle over who gets the girl, it all happens in super-slo-mo. Everything sloth happens slowly – except the work of the sanctuary and the speed of sloth-love. The latest are the sloth memes that are finding their way around the social media …

sloth-meme-1  sloth-meme-2


sloth-meme-3  sloth-meme-4

(Find lots more at Meme Generator and write your own.)

And if you wonder what’s behind the sloth smile, check out Suspiciously Evil Sloth:


Let’s just hope people don’t get the wrong idea and start trying to breed them as pets. (Fortunately, it’s very difficult.)

Village Voice asked documentarian Lucy Cooke what we don’t know about sloths that we should:

They are not dirty, and they don’t smell. They have no natural body odor, and their fur is a miniature jungle of algae and thousands of insects, including a moth that spends its whole life cycle tied to the sloth. This is a very effective camouflage coat that helps keep them hidden from their number one predator, the Harpy eagle.

And what’s so attractive about sloths:

I think there is a bit of the sloth in all of us. Any animal that is as mellow as the sloth has to be admired. And the babies are so vulnerable and awkward, they are basically cute crack.

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The Animal Planet episode re-airs on Saturday Dec 24th at 9 a.m. ET.

What you can do: Support the Sloth Sanctuary here.