As many of our readers know, Benny and I love sloths. Recently a Zooillogix reader, Jennifer Lapsker, traveled to Costa Rica for a sloth-filled vacation. During her adventure, she was kind enough to pick up a book from the Sloth Sanctuary entitled “THEY ARE NOT BEARS AND THEY ARE NOT LAZY!” While the title chastises you for your ignorant sloth prejudices, the publication is full of fun facts written in a less accusatory tone.
As informed by the book, we bring you the first Zooillogix trivia game – 3 Toes, 2 Toes or Benny?!
Question #1: Do sloths and Benny have 2 toes or 3 toes?
Answer: All sloths have 3 claws or “toes”, although Bradypus variegatus has 3 longer “fingers” and Choloepus hoffmani has only 2 of these longer “fingers.” Benny? He was born without hands! That means Question #1 was a trick question. This is going to get really hard…
Cap’n 3 Toes, Bradypus variegatus, known in Costa Rica as El Diablo de Tus Pesadillos con Tres Punales Sangriento
Question #2: How do sloths protect themselves from predators if they move so slowly?
Answer: Sloths have no natural scent making them difficult for predators to detect. They do, however, smell like vegetation thanks to special algae that grows on their hair. Benny emits a foul odor when he is frightened or sexually aroused.
Question #3: How long do sloths live?
Answer: No one knows how long sloths live in the wild. Some Choloepus have lived more than 40 years in captivity, but no Bradypus – except Buttercup (the Sanctuary’s first sloth) and her three babies – has survived captivity at the Sanctuary for more than a few months. Benny is currently 27 but looks much much older.
Lil 2 Toes, Choloepus hoffmani, known in Costa Rica as Oso Perezoso que Se Niega de Arar Mi Campo
Question #4: How do sloths mate?
Answer: We don’t know for certain. At the Costa Rican Sloth Sanctuary, Chloepus has been observed mating front-to-front and it is assumed they use the same technique in the wild. Much like Bradypus, Benny has no external genitalia and his mating habits are unknown.
Question #5: Do Sloths Need to Drink Water?
Answer: No, they get all the moisture they need from succulent leaves. On the other hand, Benny travels everywhere with a Nalgene bottle attached to his belt, to convince fellow San Franciscans that he enjoys “being active.”
Question #6: ?Por que no se le puede ensenar a los perezosos bebes como vivir en estado natural?
Answer: This strange devil-tongue from the opposite side of the book confuses and frightens me.
Question #7: Do sloths ever come down to the ground?
Answer: Yes. Once every five to eight days they leave the safety of the forest canopy to defecate at the base of a favorite tree. Born without hands, Benny is unable to climb trees or lock bathroom doors behind him.
Question #8: How does the Sloth Sanctuary pay for all of this?
Answer: Via generous donations from Zooillogix readers! Find out how to donate at the bottom of this page.
Baby sloth video extravaganza below!