_73808613_stellar_tsang.img_3160x624In 2005, Monique Pool lost her dog, named Sciolo. She called the Suriname Animal Protection Society to see if they had any luck finding her beloved pet. They didn’t know where Sciolo was, but they told Pool about Loesje (also called Lucia) a baby sloth that they weren’t sure what to do with. Pool took in the animal and immediately fell in love. She says of sloths, “they’re very special animals to look at…they always have smile on their face and seem so tranquil and peaceful.”

Despite their long claws, sloths are very gentle. However, this doesn’t make them an easy pet to have and maintain. They have a very challenging diet. Pool went to Judy Arroyo for advice on how to feed Lucia. Arroyo runs a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. She recommended that she give the baby sloth goat’s milk, as they cannot process cow’s milk. However, in Suriname, where Pool resides there was not an abundance of goat’s milk, so she had it shipped in from the United States. Unfortunately, Lucia died after two years, but Pool learned from the experience and she created a great network of people to continue rescuing sloths.

People from all over Suriname came to her with sloths because she was the only one in the country who had the expertise. Police departments, zoos, and the Animal Protection Society relied on her to take care of, rehabilitate, and re-release sloths back into the wild. Then Pool was flooded with a large request when some forest was cleared and 14 sloths were displaced. They were challenging to take care of because of different sleeping schedules and finding a place for all of them to reside in her home and cages in the back yard. Then, as the clearing continued they realized that there were more than 14 sloths that needed homes, but actually 200. Pool relied on many friends and volunteers and powered goats milk to feed the babies. Every sloth that Pool rescued from the clearing was reintroduced into the wild. Pool lost her pup, but it opened her up to a world of sloths and she has become their guardian angel.

from Benefiting the Public Good http://ift.tt/1iEGTTB

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