INTERNATIONAL SLOTH DAY
International Sloth Day is held every year on the third Saturday in October. The good news is you don’t have to be in too big of a hurry to celebrate these slow-moving mammals. Instead, hang out and have fun learning about these interesting mammals that are native to South and Central America.
There are two different types of sloths. These include the two-toed and three-toed sloths. There are six species of sloths. One of which is the pygmy three-toed sloth. Of all the species, the pygmy sloth is the only one that’s endangered. Over the last decade, the population of the pygmy sloth has decreased by 80%. There are less than 100 pygmy sloths. This makes them one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Due to shrinking habitat, pygmy sloths are expected to become extinct by 2022.
Here are some other interesting facts about sloths:
- Sloths are great swimmers and can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes underwater.
- Sloths only go to the bathroom once a week and when they go, it’s in the same exact spot.
- Algae and fungus grow on a sloth’s course thick fur.
- Thanks to extra vertebrae in their spine, sloths can rotate their head 270 degrees in either direction.
- Sloths have protruding finger bones that are four-inches long.
- Sloths love their alone time and don’t spend a lot of time with other sloths.
- On average, sloths live between 20 to 30 years.
- A sloth’s stomach has four compartments and it takes up to a month to digest one meal.
- Sloths resemble monkeys or bears but their closest relatives are the armadillo and anteater.
- Sloths sleep up to 20 hours every day.
HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL SLOTH DAY
Many zoos and conservation groups host special presentations and educational seminars about these interesting mammals. Check with your local zoo to see if they have a special exhibit for International Sloth Day. Donate to a wildlife organization that is working to protect the pygmy sloth. One such organization is the Sloth Conservation Foundation.
Maybe one of the best ways to celebrate International Sloth Day is to spend the day just hanging out doing nothing. You might not be able to sleep for 20 hours, but it might be a great day to have some alone time.
Spread your love for the sloth by sharing #InternationalSlothDay on social media.
INTERNATIONAL SLOTH DAY HISTORY
The AIUNAU Foundation created International Sloth Day in 2010. AIUNAU is a non-profit conservation and wildlife organization based in Colombia.