Written by PETA
If you enjoy watching cheetahs
sprint or ospreys
dive, you might not be a big fan of sloths—one of the slowest and sleepiest
animals on the planet. But a closer look at these Central and South American
rainforest relatives of anteaters and armadillos
reveals a fascinating animal unlike any other.
© Mark M. Gaskill
Sloths—who can be two-toed and three-toed—spend
the vast majority of their time in trees, often hanging upside down
from branches, thanks to their powerful front legs. Sloths sleep up to 20 hours a day and
move very little when they are awake. If spotted on the ground by a predator,
sloths have virtually no chance of escape but will face their pursuer with
their sharp claws and fierce bites. But place that same sloth in the water, and
you're practically looking at an Olympic swimmer. In fact, sloths take to the
water so well that they'll intentionally plummet from a treetop directly into
the river below. Sloths even mate and give birth while hanging from branches,
and sloth babies cling to their mother for up to nine months.
One of the
sloths rescued from USGE
While sloths are right at home in trees and in the water,
one place they don't belong is in captivity. Several sloths
seized from the now-defunct exotic-animal dealer U.S. Global Exotics (USGE)—based on
evidence from a PETA undercover investigation of the hellish warehouse—were
thankfully taken in by a progressive, compassionate facility in Detroit. Help
keep sloths—and other animals—safe by never spending a dime at any store that
Written by Joe Taksel
Authorities at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport arrested a man headed to Dubai who had "a virtual zoo" of baby exotic animals stuffed in cages and canisters inside his suitcases. Anti-trafficking officers had been tracking the smuggler since he purchased two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear, and two macaque monkeys, and they believe that he is part of a wildlife smuggling network.
Unfortunately, wildlife trafficking isn't limited to Thailand and Dubai. Before it was shut down following a PETA investigation, Texas-based U.S. Global Exotics (USGE) was a major player in the exotic-animal trade, importing and exporting hundreds of thousands of animals annually for years and supplying animals to companies and dealers all over the world, including PetSmart and PETCO.
Animals are still suffering at similar facilities, and they will continue to do so as long as people buy exotic animals from pet stores. Please encourage anyone you know who wants to share their home with an animal always to adopt and never buy.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Authorities recently raided Dutch animal dealer and breeding mill Reintjes—a supplier of U.S. Global Exotics (USGE)—and found animals crammed in cages in a dark warehouse with no working fan to combat stale air and the stench of urine and feces. Many animals had no access to food or water, and many were starving. Authorities seized every animal on the premises—5,900 in all, including mice, rats, hamsters, and birds—from Reintjes' owners, who already had criminal records for cruelty to animals.
Reintjes was a global supplier of animals to the pet trade. In 2009 alone, it supplied 112,546 animals to USGE, a major supplier of animals to wholesale dealers and pet stores in the U.S.—including PETCO and PetSmart suppliers Rainbow World Exotics and Sun Pet—until it was shut down following a PETA undercover investigation. USGE, which purchased rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas, chipmunks, tree squirrels, and other animals from Reintjes, shared the Dutch company's view of animals as disposable commodities. Authorities raiding USGE found live animals shoved into soda bottles and tiny food storage containers; animals with severe, untreated injuries; a widespread lack of food, water, and adequate housing; and sick animals left to die. In fact, on the day of the seizure, an unpacked shipment of hundreds of chinchillas and hamsters from Reintjes was among the first things authorities found.
There is no word yet on whether Reintjes will be shut down permanently, but we will release updates as we have them. It is impossible to patronize pet stores like PETCO and PetSmart that sell live animals without supporting abusive animal dealers and breeding mills. Please, purchase your animal supplies at stores that don't sell live animals.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.