On the morning of Wednesday, January 27th we rented bikes and rode 3km south to the Jaguar Rescue Center. The Center takes in all sorts of wildlife, rehabilitates them, and then releases them back into the wild. They also breed endangered snakes.
At the center I enjoyed the best wildlife experience of my life; I held a baby sloth! Sloths are my favorite animals and they are even cuter in real life.
The light colored ones are 2 toed sloths and they are more aggressive because they hunt for insects. You can only pet them on their backs. The 2 toed sloth’s fur is softer than the more wiry fur of the darker colored 3 toed sloth. The 3 toed sloths are super friendly; they just want to hug you all day. One of the baby 3 toed sloths came to the rescue center when it dropped off its mother from a tree right into their garden. When the mother sloth drops her baby she doesn’t usually go down to collect it. The center has tried to release both the 6 month old 3 toed sloths into the wild but they just keep coming back!
Ryan and I both got to hold the baby 3 toed sloths. When it was time to go visit the howler monkeys the volunteer put one of the 3 toed sloths on the tree. Ryan started taking pictures of it on the tree, then it grabbed onto him and climbed right on his neck!
He held it for a while, then we tried to put it back on the tree but it was hard because it had a very strong grip. It was so cute; the sloth didn’t want to be on the tree, it wanted to be on Ryan and it kept reaching for him after he let go of it. These guys are major buds. I could hug them alllll day.
We also saw the baby 2 toed sloth attacking the baby 3 toed sloth. It was the slowest fight ever. The 2 baby 2 toed sloths had a love hate relationship with each other. Sometimes they were fighting and sometimes they were licking each other’s faces. The 2 baby 3 toed sloths really liked each other and the volunteer said they sleep together at night curled in a little ball. Sloths are usually solitary animals and they keep to themselves in their tree most of the time.
We went in the big howler monkey cage and the baby howler monkeys climbed all over us. They were having a good time chewing on the camera strap, and on my hair.
After playing with the monkeys we saw 2 baby crocodiles in a pond, an owl with a broken wing, and lots of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.
Last we saw the Margay cub. The Margay is a beautiful wildcat related to the Ocelot. They are adept tree climbers and jumpers.
When the tour was done we paid the $10 donation and rode home. Tomorrow we are leaving Puerto Viejo to go 12km south to the super small town of Manzanillo to enjoy the lovely beaches and hike in the wildlife refuge.