If you have ever seen a sloth, you know just how adorable they are. The general public, however, knows very little about sloths.
Sloths have been around for millions of years and could frequently be found in what is now the continental United States, particularly in Iowa.
Those ancient sloths were giant compared to our sloths today, which are only a few feet long. Modern sloths are natives to Central and South America.
Sloths live in rain forests and feed on the many plants and animals available. They can hide away from predators in the trees.
Hiding from predators is particularly important because sloths are very slow moving, and their sharps claws can really only be used for tree-clinging, not for defense.
Unfortunately, the sloth populations are smaller and smaller due to the rain forests massive clear-cutting and deforestation.
When their habitats shrink, sloths find themselves without reliable places to get away from predators. More and more of them are stretching out into human inhabited areas. Some even linger around busy highways.
Volunteers go out to find the sloths and return them to areas that are more heavily forested and suitable for their living.
It is important to look beyond the cuteness and pay attention to the problems the sloths are facing.
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