Travel Corner - Costa Rica's Sloth Sanctuary

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Many snow birds that visit Florida during the winter months are also looking for quick getaways and vacations. Many enjoy a cruise or travel to nearby countries such as Puerto Rica and Costa Rica. Only a 2 1/2 hour flight from Fort Lauderdale or Miami, Costa Rica is becoming a top destinations for nature lovers.

Volcanoes, jungles, an abundance of birds and wildlife are enough to lure millions to this Central American country. will be featuring such travel destinations, with articles, photos, videos and highlights to keep you informed.

Today's topic features the incredible sloth! As soon as I heard about the Aviarios Del Caribe sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica I knew it would be perfect to share. It's the world’s only sloth orphanage, home to over 100 very sleepy urchins whose lives have been saved by legendary sloth whisperer Judy Arroyo.

I've always been a fan of sloths. Their nerves have even evolved to react slower so they don't flinch at loud noises, making them nature's most chilled-out animals. Sloth’s are fantastically weird animals, the junkies of the jungle who seem to spend their lives either nodding off or scratching and occasionally eating a bean or two before drifting back to what looks like a blissful sleep.

They have very few natural predators and the only time they're vulnerable is when they leave the trees once a week and descend to the ground to poo. This behavior has befuddled scientists for many years. One of the theories is that their solitary lifestyle affords few chances to hook up with the opposite sex and these toilet stops are a good way to meet other sloths.

The babies are especially helpless and comical. If you fall for these animals like I did then you can join the sanctuary’s volunteer program. Trainee sloth wranglers get to feed the sloths and help exercise and potty train the babies. The sanctuary runs on donations and voluntary help so you can do your bit by helping these vulnerable creatures whose jungle home is being slowly destroyed by pesticides, sold off to US real estate agencies and sliced up by roads and power lines.

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