It's never easy when we get a phone call at the sanctuary telling us that a sloth needs our help. On this occasion, we were told that a beautiful two-fingered sloth had been electrocuted on the power lines and was in trouble. The gentleman told us he would collect the sloth and bring her to the sanctuary – but he never arrived. We assumed the worst had happened and that she hadn't survived. We were wrong.
Three days later, we received another phone call. The sloth was still alive and desperately needed medical attention. Not wanting to waste another second, we jumped into my little car and drove 45 minutes to where the electrocuted sloth was last spotted. It didn't take us long to find her, and she was in a terrible state. She had apparently climbed onto the electric wires and the shock she received knocked out the power in the surrounding area. She had fallen to the ground and after regaining consciousness, crawled across the ground and up the nearest almond tree. The fire service had been called out to collect her, but after seeing the extent of her injuries they apparently decided she wasn't worth rescuing because she wouldn't survive. Three days later when we arrived she was still surviving, proving everyone wrong.
We have known for a long time just how tough sloths are, and it's sometimes hard to describe. I think this story demonstrates perfectly. The electricity had passed though the sloths' left arm and out of her nose. Her skin had been burnt off and her eyes were completely sealed shut. We quickly anaesthetised her and put her safely into a travel crate for the journey back to the sanctuary. Just before we left, we were alerted to another sloth emergency. Barely 10 meters away, another two-fingered sloth was snoozing on top of an electricity meter. He was inches away from electrocuting himself. We took the decision to relocate him away from the dangers of the city and release him into the large protected forest surrounding the sanctuary. Having initially come to rescue one sloth, we left with two. They were fondly named Jack and Jill.