Here at OGP, we absolutely LOVE sloths. These creatures are incredibly adorable and never fail to put a smile on our faces. While there is nothing like a baby sloth hugging a stuffed animal to brighten your day, our sloth friends often have a sad story to tell. Not only are certain species of sloth ranked on the IUCN’s list of endangered species, but their habitats are being encroached upon by humans, and sloths are at risk of being captured from the wild and being sold as pets.
Luckily, there are many organizations who care about sloths just as much as we do and are willing to help them survive at all costs. This particular story comes from one such organization, The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica. The Sloth Institute admitted a female sloth who had fallen out of a tree and was in pretty bad shape. While it was discovered that the sloth did not crack her skull, it was discovered that she was pregnant! The injuries she sustained would likely make the delivery of the baby extremely difficult. A few days later, the mother sloth started having severe contractions, but was unable to deliver the baby.
The Sloth Institute workers were able to transfer the mother sloth to the office of veterinarian, Yesse Alpizar.
After getting the full history of the mother sloth, Alpizar performed an x-ray and determined the baby was breach and it would not be likely that the mother could deliver the baby on her own.
The vets were able to confirm that the baby was still alive and could be saved with a c-section. So, they set to work.
The operation went well and the baby was already trying to breathe.
What a sweet little face!
The next step was to clean the baby and get him warm as soon as possible.
Holding the baby close, using skin to skin contact is the best way to combat hypothermia, which is a common complication that can happen after c-sections.
The baby peeks its head out of a warm blanket to see their big, new world.
Three days after delivery, the mother sloth and baby are still being monitored constantly, but they have one another to cuddle and comfort. We wish these two a speedy recovery!
All image source: The Sloth Institute