Changing Planet

Special Squeaky Sloth Video

National Geograpic Emerging Explorer Lucy Cooke, creator of Slothville, is on a one-woman crusade to show the world why some of the most unlovable animals are actually the most interesting and deserving of our attention, study, and protection. Her new book, The Little Book of Sloth, celebrates the sloth: the cutest, cuddliest, slowest creature on this planet. The sloths featured in the book, and the video above, are lucky residents at the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica and the AIUNAU sloth sanctuary in Colombia as well.

This video is absolutely adorable. Why are the sloths squeaking?

That noise is the perhaps the cutest on the planet. It goes straight for your ovaries and makes you want to protect the baby sloths. It actually quite possibly was designed to make you pay attention and want to nurture these baby animals. That peep sound is basically baby sloth for, “Help! I’m lost, where are you?”

In the wild baby sloths spend the first three to six months of their lives clinging to their mothers. If they are separated from their mothers, they make this noise so that mom can find them again. The babies in the video are orphans that I filmed at the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary. Each baby is partnered with a stuffed toy or another baby sloth so that they have a snuggle partner to hug for comfort. The babies in the video, are making this noise because they have wandered away from their snuggle partner and need to find them.

What is your favorite fact about sloths?

Since they are such wonderfully eccentric creatures and so massively misunderstood, I have lots of favorite facts. I love the fact that despite the fact that they are lazy and sleepy, they are extremely successful animals. As busy bipedal apes, we are obsessed with moving faster than nature intended. But being slow is a very successful strategy. In one survey, of the rainforests in Surinam and Panama, they discovered that up to two-thirds of the mammalian biomass can be made up of sloths, which is biology speak for, “We’re doing pretty well thank you!” Being fast is overrated.

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What sorts of threats are sloths facing?

The same as most animals. Habitat destruction is probably the main threat and the reason why the pygmy sloths of Panama and the maned sloths of Brazil are both increasingly endangered.

Trafficking is also a problem with many exotic animals these days. It is very important for people to remember that these baby sloths may be cute, but they are residents of a sanctuary and will hopefully be released back into the wild when they get older. Sloths live for up to 45 years and have highly specialised diets. Most importantly though, adult wild sloths have a surprisingly large range and are solitary creatures. They would therefore lead miserable lives cooped up and kept as pets. If you love sloths, then leave them in the wild where they are happy, and help protect their homes by supporting charities like the ZSL EDGE campaign who are working to save the homes of endangered species like the pygmy and maned sloth.

If you really want a pet sloth, then you can download an APP called Adopt a Sloth, which allows you to care for your very own baby sloth, as well as learn about their biology and watch more videos. A percentage of proceeds goes towards protecting the pygmy sloth as well.

You’ve made quite a few films about sloths, are they your favorite animal?

I love all sorts of strange, ugly and misunderstood creatures. Sloths are one of my favorites but top of my list has always been the original explorers, frogs, who made the great evolutionary leap from water to land.

Amy Bucci is a web producer for National Geographic. Her projects mainly cover National Geographic explorers, grantees and initiatives.
  • Connie Gilliatt

    Adorable and amazing video! I loved reading all the facts. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Cynthia

    Wonderful! It made me smile and warmed me. Keep up your good work of protecting them. I’m going to look into your book. I’d love to know more about sloths.

  • Anna

    Why is not natgeo is celebrating today the anniversary of the first human flight into space! On April 12th in 1961 the first man flew into open space – it was a Russian spaceman Yuri Gagarin !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Vijaya Kumar Karri

    Fine and amazing video! Thank U.

  • Sylvia Kaneko

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful baby sloths and their attachment signal. Makes me wonder if non Mammalian babies share and demonstrate this same attachment need. Does anyone know?

  • Mary Lou

    A chorus of cuteness – such fun!

  • Alma

    Nice, but wouldn’t we hear it better without the music?

  • Timea

    Thank you for this amazing video and interesting facts. Sloths are really adorable! It is sad that many wonderful creatures are misunderstood. Articles and works like these can help. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  • Nancy Robison

    they’re just babies!

  • Ipe m ipe

    This is a beautiful clipping, very rare to see the sloths in nature, it is a pity that human race will wipe them out by invading and distroying their habitat. Stricter statutory protection and environmental education can only save these defenceless organisms.

  • Ipe m ipe

    A beautiful clipping, rare to see the sloths in nature, their habitat is being destroyed by human invasion of the forests, need more focused methods including educating the people are required if we have to save them

  • Greg

    Isn’t nature a wonderful tonic? It’s high time for humankind to take a step forward to stop the destruction. Perhaps seeing this video may change a few selfish minds!!

  • Lee

    @ Greg Aussie, You are absolutely right!!! Bless you

  • Lee

    Awesome Thankyou


    Sooo cute! I am an animal advocate, in a big way… and this is just another Great Reason! Thank-you… with a Fuller Smile!

  • Misbahul Haq Javed

    Great to see this enchanting video.I admire the efforts of those who care.

  • Misbahul Haq Javed

    Great to see this enchanting video.I admire all those who take care of the living things.

  • kelly kujawa

    at como park zoo i was talking to this sloth i call my friend he was clinging to a tree trunk with his back to me but when i said i had to go now he put his arm way backwards to me without turning around and waved at me. i do believe when we talk TO them not about them rhey un derstand us.

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