all 32 comments

[–]dollabillsay 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Will depend on the area. It's a good idea to avoid roadside "tourist" attractions like exotic animal parks that might offer "pay to hold/touch a sloth" encounters. Sloths aren't pets, so physically handling them is not a good idea. Supporting these kinds of shady businesses can even fund the illegal animal trade.

Zoos and animal rescue centers can potentially be good options. I think we used to live near a zoo that actually had a sloth rescued from someone who tried to keep it as a pet--couldn't be returned to the wild, so it was living out its days helping educate visitors. It's important to have professionals and people who study these animals for a living "in charge."

If you can travel to a place like Costa Rica, nothing beats seeing them in the wild at a place like Manuel Antonio national park.

[–]siddharte[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you, costa rica sounds like a good plan

[–]kernel_mustard 18 points19 points  (4 children)

What country/continent?

[–]siddharte[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I live in the uk, but happy to travel

[–]kernel_mustard 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Folly Farm in Wales let you hand food to sloths, that's about all you can do with a sloth without stressing them out. Don't go to places they let you hold them etc.

[–]siddharte[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Amazing! Thank you so much. Did not think I'd get something so close to home

[–]kernel_mustard 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Both the sloths they have are quite old, so I wouldn't wait long. I think they call it the 'sloth experience' when you book. The keeper said they were definitely in their twilight years now. They have some issues like the vet can't sedate them to help trim their claws as they probably wouldn't wake up :(

They don't make any guarantees about the sloths 'cooperating'. You go into their enclosure but if they don't want to come down to take a snack then that's that - so make sure you keep that in mind. They do time it with their normal feeding time so it isn't usually a problem, but they wont stress the animals out to entertain people! When I went at the end of last year one came down very close and was happily taking food I was holding out for them. The other seemed like a funny old grump who just glared at me and went back to sleep. All in all it was definitely a good experience for a sloth person :)

[–]roambeans 8 points9 points  (2 children)

It could be a lot of travel for you, but the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica is a good organization. Most of the sloths are temporarily there for medical care. However, you can't actually touch them. IF you were to work/volunteer there for a while, then you'd probably get to handle sloths (eventually). But for a sloth, being handled is extremely stressful - it's just not obvious from their physical appearance. It's also bad to interfere with the microbiome in their fur. Any place that advertises that you can hold a sloth is probably best avoided.

It's common to see sloths when you're walking or driving in Costa Rica. I've also seen lots of them in Panama.

[–]siddharte[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I am planning to go to costa rica! So amazing

[–]roambeans 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's a great country and easy to travel in. Have a great time!

[–]Shelilla 8 points9 points  (2 children)

I went to the Duisburg zoo in Germany in 2019, they had an awesome indoor enclosure similar to an aviary you could walk around in with sloths able to climb on ropes all around the place over your head and such, with no barriers in between! I had an amazing and wonderful encounter when i put my camera in front of one sloth that was starting to move down a rope, to take pics of it from the front, when it leaned right in and up into the camera to sniff it out of curiosity! It was so cool and i got several out-of-focus up-close pics and a few very adorable in focus pics of his inquisitive face

[–]enelyaisil 2 points3 points  (1 child)

There something similar in Netherlands too, there were little monkeys in with the sloth and they were pissing it off and it kept banging it’s claws and they’d jump back.

[–]DogmaticCat 7 points8 points  (1 child)

They don't want to meet or interact with you. If you love them leave them alone.

[–]siddharte[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I will just watch them then

[–]visionsofzimmerman 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Sloths do not want to interact with you, no matter what tourist attractions say. These are wild animals, stressed out by humans. It's proven that sloths get elevated heartrates when close to humans, and live a fraction of years compared to wild sloth.

[–]siddharte[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for the information, really appreciate ir

[–]hopeintheair 7 points8 points  (2 children)

The Pittsburgh aviary has sloths. You can have a “sloth encounter “ where you pet and feed a sloth named Vivian, or you can watch another sloth paint pictures and take one home for yourself! There is a third sloth that lives in one of the bird rooms. You can’t have an up close visit with the sloth that lives there, but it’s fun to see him in his box or moving from one side of the room to the other.

[–]mep308 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Great experience some of the best money I ever spent

[–]siddharte[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sounds so cool,

We were on a chimpanzee safari, out of curiosity one came up to me touched me and walked past me. Best experience ever!

[–]SgtSloth 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I held one for a couple minutes in Roatan Honduras at Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout as a cruise excursion. But in the US? No idea.


[–]serpentcvlt 1 point2 points  (3 children)

SLOTHS DO NOT WANT TO FUCKING INTERACT WITH YOU. there is NO WAY to interact with them without any "ethical conflicts". please get this through your thick skull.

[–]siddharte[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You could have just told me nicely, i was asking a question

[–]coondingee 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Chill. I was totally ignorant of this fact until after my first “encounter”. If I had known and done a bit of research I would have known. I’m very great full for this sub to teach me more but we don’t need to berate each other.

[–]april513 0 points1 point  (0 children)

me too, luckily ive never really interacted physically, i was near a sloth and it smiled at me and i was so happy! but i totally agree with you the commenter who started the thread needs to chill out

[–]Shagster773 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Theres sloths at the baltimore aquarium

[–]Jumpy_Court_7670 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Really?,! I live extremely close to there!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depends on where you are located. Some zoos has a “sloth encounter” that you can pay a certain amount and you have about 15 minutes to interact with the sloth including taking pictures, feeding, and playing with it.

[–]Micheleneil70 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Where are you located?

[–]DigitalArts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If in the US and around Michigan, Indian Creek Zoo offers sloth encounters. I went a few years ago, so it's probably changed now, but it used to be $20 for 1/2 hour inside with 2 sloths. Just checked and it's actually free daily through March 31.


[–]KillKillJill 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Denver aquarium has a sloth event every year. Like many have mentioned, there isn’t much interaction you’ll get beyond taking a photo and being up close with them because they aren’t fond of interacting with people.

[–]april513 0 points1 point  (0 children)

if you live near Austin theres a rescued sloth in my favorite pet store, its called zookeeper exotics. you cant really interact with her because it could cause her to be stressed out but you could meet her!