Happy 2021, sloth fans!
We know that, like us, you probably started this year a little more quietly than usual. With our 2020 resolutions going out the window, we might all be a little on the fence over whether or not it is even worth it to set personal goals for 2021.
To that, I say: life is never predictable! Sure, this past year was a lot more unpredictable than any of us expected, but it was definitely a lesson to all. A lesson of resilience, of making it through adversity, of shining a light on the important things in life, and, most undeniably, a lesson of adaptability. These are traits that will benefit us for a lifetime, and who better to inspire us and show us the way than four amazing, rescued sloths, whose lives got turned upside down (ha, get it?) from electrocution accidents and still made it to the other side!
First, we have Aidee, a two-fingered sloth who arrived in August 2020. Her accident caused the loss of mobility in all her limbs, and so we proceeded to do lots of physical therapy. Sadly, one of the arms still became necrotic — a common side-effect of burn victims — and we had to amputate. Thankfully the surgery went great and she recovered smoothly, training her other three limbs and getting stronger. After a few months of this, we were able to rewild her just in time to be our Christmas Miracle!
Second up we have Geralt of Rivia — name and attitude inspired by The Witcher Geralt — who was rescued from Moravia, Costa Rica. After our initial health check, we discovered he had older electrocution wounds on his arms and legs. The injuries were luckily still healthy. Our vet team mobilized a treatment plan including cell regenerative treatment, pain meds, vitamins, and an innovative procedure using tilapia skin.
However, the only catch about using this on wild animals is the risk of them eating it! Unfortunately, this is what Geralt did. After evaluation, it was decided from the top of his hand to his wrist needed to be amputated due to newly developed necrosis. He recovered greatly from his surgery and is ready to be released this month!
Next up is Lumi — meaning “snow” in Finnish — named after the cold weather of the day when she arrived this past December. After examination, the Vet Team determined that one of her limbs was already necrotic and was in need of urgent surgery to prevent dead tissue from spreading further into her chest.
The surgery was successful, but since the dead tissue spread incredibly fast, we had to amputate the whole arm to save her. The lack of healthy tissue around the wound meant we had to leave it exposed. Nonetheless, the team did a great job taking care of Lumi and there’s no sign of infection! The next steps for her are now to start her rehab process and training, so she can get #backinthetrees in a few months!
Last, but certainly not least is Efe (who is the featured photo of this story). Efe’s accident happened in late-November of last year, rescued by the wildlife police and brought to us for treatment. He looked very hurt and mistreated, but thankfully his prognosis was good since his injuries were superficial and his biggest issue was body movement. After a week of topical and pain management treatment, he has been training on rehabilitation structures and will go with Geralt to get rewilded very soon!
Despite these lovelies looking soft and harmless to us, they are incredibly strong and resilient in the face of adversity. They take the hits that life throws at them and climb right back up, better than ever. And this 2021, we are climbing to the canopy with them.
— Mariana Diaz works at 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.