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Slothy Sunday: Orphaned sloth rescued after being hit by car

January 31, 2021

Meet Muffin.

Muffin is an orphaned three-fingered sloth who was found roadside, cold and alone, after being hit by a car. Upon arrival at Toucan Rescue Ranch, he was unresponsive, and we were unsure if he would survive. Our Vet Team took action to tackle the symptoms with an aggressive treatment plan that would hopefully make him feel better and put him under close observation. After a thorough analysis, the team determined that Muffin had mobility issues in his hands, requiring physical therapy.

Ana María Villada Rosales, Veterinarian Supervisor, and Muffin the sloth at Toucan Rescue Ranch in Costa Rica.
Ana María Villada Rosales, Veterinarian Supervisor, and Muffin the sloth at Toucan Rescue Ranch in Costa Rica. (Photo via Toucan Rescue Ranch)

Today, he is full of energy and back to climbing and eating as normal, but will remain in physiotherapy to ensure he is as strong as possible when put back in the trees.

Muffin the sloth.
Muffin the sloth. (Photo via Toucan Rescue Ranch.)

How do we care for baby sloths?

Young sloths just like Muffin are often orphaned, typically after unfortunate accidents. After being rescued and evaluated by the vet team, these tiny creatures demand 24/7 attention and feedings every three hours. A proper diet is always vital, which is why we use goat milk to ensure appropriate nutrition and prevent lactose issues. In addition, they are assigned to a partner to help relieve stress. Oftentimes we group sloths with others similar in age and behavior to provide comfort. This is because sloths typically hang onto their mothers from six months to even two years before becoming fully independent.

Orphaned sloths are each placed in rehabilitation and rewilding program that begins with what we call Sloth Preschool and progresses all the way to Sloth University, where they will graduate and be released back into the wild! This is what we call the  Saving Sloths Together Program (SST). The SST program combines the expertise from both Toucan Rescue Ranch and The Sloth Institute to ensure that sloths, injured and orphaned, will be given the best chance at being released.

How can you help?

Symbolically Adopt: With the Toucan Rescue Ranch, you can symbolically adopt your favorite species where you will be contributing to their specific ongoing food and care. With adopting, you will receive a certification of adoption, bookmarks and information sheets featuring your chosen species, and desktop backgrounds and screensavers.

A sample certificate of sloth adoption.
A sample certificate of sloth "adoption." via Toucan Rescue Ranch.

Always keep in mind that these are symbolic adoptions. TRR does not sell or physically adopt out any of the rescued wildlife.

Donate: Saving Sloth Together is a great way to directly help save orphaned sloths. Every donation goes towards the costs of care for hand-raised, and rehabilitated sloths giving them a second chance at life in the wild. This program provides a future not just for the sloths who go through the program, but for the health and understanding of the species worldwide.

There are also many other ways to donate directly to TRR wildlife such as joining virtual tours, crowdfunding campaigns, or our monthly $2 for Toucans donation club with Venmo!

Volunteer: Do you have free time that you would rather spend directly helping a good cause? When volunteering at Toucan Rescue Ranch, you assist with daily activities such as providing proper diets to various wildlife, as well as contributing to the overall success and culture of our non-profit. You may also play a key role in other important activities such as being a tour guide, helping coordinate events for our education program, assisting with marketing and administrative duties, or working to improve animal enclosures and giving enrichment.

Chelsey is a 23-year-old graphic designer and photographer from Kansas. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with and photographing wildlife, and traveling whenever possible. She is currently working with the Toucan Rescue Ranch in Costa Rica for 6 months where she will be assisting with media, fundraising, and education. Once complete, she hopes to pursue a career in marketing for wildlife conservation.

To help Toucan Rescue Ranch please consider donating.

Toucan Rescue Ranch Logo 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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