Slothy Sunday: Six months in rehab
No, not the rehab you’re thinking of — I mean sloth rehab.
Being a sloth rehabilitation intern at the Toucan Rescue Ranch has been a rollercoaster of emotions, from some of the best days in my life to some very sad ones. As an intern, there is a lot of responsibility when it comes to the animals, but with such responsibilities comes a lot of proud, happy moments.
Many animals, such as Oatmeal, one of the injured two-fingered sloths we received, have really made an impact on my life and how I view rescue centers in general.
Oatmeal arrived as an electrocution case and was found on her deceased mother who had also been electrocuted. Oatmeal’s case has been an inspiring one, as no one had much hope for her and we didn’t think she would survive. Now, months later, she is climbing again, eating normally and all her hair has finally started to grow back. She has been through surgery, physiotherapy, long-term treatment, and she still puts a smile on our faces every day with her improvement and fighting personality.
Working with the injured and to-be-released sloths was incredible, but working with and helping the vet team and founder, Leslie Howle, with the baby sloths, was truly an experience of a lifetime. Watching the babies grow over a 6-month period from small hand-reared orphans to independent sloths in such a short period of time was unbelievable.
This experience has changed my life and made me realize how important we humans are in keeping our wildlife on the right track and helping them when they are in need. Whether it’s due to human factors or natural factors, there are ways we can give these animals a second chance they wouldn’t get without rescue centers such as the Toucan Rescue Ranch.
Animals like Oatmeal and the orphaned babies make all the time and effort that was put into my internship worth it. All the animals at TRR need help, but having a direct effect on their life and how they progress in their rehabilitation has been an experience I will never forget.
Amie Coltman is studying wildlife conservation at the University of Salford. The Sloth Rehabilitation Intern collaborates with the other Sloth Rehabilitation Interns, animal husbandry volunteers, the founder, and TRR medical staff to ensure the best possible care is provided for the sloths. The Sloth Intern’s primary responsibilities include feeding, cleaning up after, exercising, taking to the bathroom, and monitoring the baby and adult sloths. Additionally, the sloth intern will aid the clinic with procedures, cleaning, and feeding.
This article was produced by The Toucan Rescue Ranch. The Toucan Rescue Ranch specializes in helping wild animals recover so that they can be reintroduced into the wild. For more information or to donate, visit the Toucan Rescue Ranch website.
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