7 min read

A day in the life of a sloth

I have been lucky enough to discover a genuine page from a sloth's diary! One of our volunteers while working on Frontier's Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre project, found the excerpt while out trekking. We've managed to translate it from the slothian language using clever computational techniques, and have published it for you lucky Frontier blog readers to see. This is a world first guys and girls!

Keith the Sloth, Journal Entry 17/10/2014 – The Horrible Harpy

Image courtesy of Emma Fisher from her time on Frontier's Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre project

Today started like any other day: alone in my tree, just the way I like it! I prefer the solitary life you see, hanging out while slowly making my way through the canopy and eating the most delicious leaves from my favourite trees. Oooh how they give me indigestion though! A whole month to digest even a single leaf; If only they weren't so irresistibly scrummy!

Image courtesy of Rachel Denault from her time on Frontier's Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre project

There was an unusually large amount of beetles making their home in my fur this morning. The algae that grows on me I don't mind and has definitely come in handy a few times when jaguars have the cheek to think of me as a snack. If I wasn't so wonderfully odourless they surely would've smelt me! But beetles, however, sometimes tickle me a bit too much for my liking.

Image courtesy of English Burch from her time on Frontier's Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre project

I had a swim today to shake off those little insects and had some fun diving from a high branch above the river. Splosh! Perfect 10 I reckon, but in my revelry I had neglected to double check for those pesky harpy eagles.

Harpy Eagle - image courtesy of Brian Gratwicke

Sure enough, my watery noise-making antics had alerted one of the fiends, and he descended to a branch within striking distance of the shore. With their acute eye-sight I thought I was a goner, and had but one chance to evade a grizzly death. I took a deep breath, and plunged beneath the surface of the water.

And what a breath! I was under for almost 40 minutes and managed to float such a distance down-stream I was safe from the eagle, but most certainly out of my own territory. I did vaguely recognise the area to be part of a particularly grumpy and irritable old sloth's home, so having just had a severe fright and it encouraging the need for my weekly toilet session, I decided the next appropriate tree trunk would suffice.

Image courtesy of Rachel Denault from her time on Frontier's Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre project

Phewey! I must've lost a third of my body weight with that one because I felt like a young sloth again! I'd been up a while now and I was starting to get tired, but with this new lease of life and being about 2Kg lighter made excellent pace back to my neck of the woods, just in time for a lovely snooze.

Jack Plumb is an online journalism intern at Frontier, an international non-profit volunteering NGO. Frontier has over 300 dedicated conservation and community development projects as well as plenty of inspiring gap year ideas to help make your time out meaningful. For more information on all the opportunities available please visit www.frontier.ac.uk. Check out Frontier's blog ‘Into the Wild' where you can read more articles like this! Happy reading! Get more from us on social media with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. See more from volunteers on YouTube, Flickr and Instagram #FrontierVolunteer.