Celebrating National Sloth Day with Senator Shoshana
October 20 is National Sloth Day, and as a board member of The Conservation Coalition, I wanted to mark the occasion with some sloth facts.
Three-fingered sloths—often said incorrectly as “three-toed” (all sloths have three toes on their hind legs)—are the cutest kind of sloth. With their raccoon-like eye masks and affectionate glances, their superiority is no debate. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, only one spot in the United States is home to one of these magical beings. Indeed, while many aquariums are home to sloths (for reasons I haven’t figured out), only the Dallas World Aquarium is home to a three-fingered sloth.
While I have talked with elected officials such as Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) about bringing more three-fingered sloths to the United States, there has yet to be progress on this front.
Me: “One other nonpartisan issue that I’m curious about how you’re approaching—unfortunately it’s only Texas. Texas is the only state in America that has a three-toed sloth. So what are you doing to bring three-toed sloths to Arizona?”
Gov. Ducey: “I committed when I ran that I was going to be governor of all the people. And I will say I think the three-toed sloth would have more success if they moved a little faster in our economy. And that’s not passing judgment on them.”
On the other hand, two-fingered sloths exist in zoos and aquariums all over the United States, from Maryland to California. In my opinion, these more clown-looking sloths are also adorable and gentle-looking, with their big eyes, even if not as cute as three-fingered sloths.
Some places even offer sloth sleepovers—a smart idea to match demand and supply, as some sloths sleep as much as 20 hours a day. Sloths are also safer in captivity, living longer, as they no longer must face the dangers they would encounter when pooping in the wild. Although they only poop once a week, that’s still 52 times a year to meet their makers. “In fact, more than half of all sloth deaths are due to predators killing them while travelling to and fro their low latrines,” notes Ed Yong in National Geographic.
All that is to say, America needs more sloths. Protect the bbs from poop danger.