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
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.