Established in 2010 by AIUNAU, International Sloth Day is celebrated every year on October 20th to raise awareness for the various species of sloths.
Why Celebrate Sloths?
Sloths play an important role in tropical rainforest ecosystems. They are known as the grazers of tropical ecosystems, playing an important role in the cycling of resources throughout the forest. In addition, sloths are an important part of the food chain for ocelots, jaguars, harpy eagles, spectacled owls, and other large carnivores. They make up a significant percentage of all mammals living in the forests of Central and South America making their survival crucial to the ecosystem.
When sloths and their habitat are protected, many other species that live among them are also being protected. For example, by preserving trees and fighting deforestation in Central and South America you are also saving the endangered species of macaws that live and nest in these areas.
Tanganyika and Sloth Conservation
In order to conserve sloths and wildlife in general, it’s important to first understand how they interact with and benefit the environment, and how they’re affected by humans.
“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”
― Steve Irwin
Here at Tanganyika, we do just that by offering a behind-the-scenes experience to see and learn about Chewbacca, one of our two-fingered sloths that has been in our care since 2018 after transferring from another zoo in 2017.
Led by one of our professional zookeepers, you will learn everything there is to know about Chewy and his species. With one-on-one Q&A time, our interactive sloth behind-the-scenes experience is a special treat for anyone who encounters it.
FUN FACT: Chewy isn’t the only sloth you can see at Tanganyika, but he is the only sloth that you can feed in Kansas!
How You Can Help
- Come Visit Chewy / Education – Empowering future generations with the knowledge to make a difference will lead to positive outcomes for the Earth which is why we do what we do here at Tanganyika. Educate yourself and those around you by visiting zoos and wildlife parks and participating in conservation workshops or seminars. Remember, sharing is caring, so share as much education as you can!
- Choose Your Food Wisely – The production and transportation of produce, depending on where it is grown, is incredibly damaging to the environment. Focus on choosing locally grown, organic goods whenever you can. These products can be found at your local farmers’ market or even grown yourself.
- Plant a Tree – Even if you do not live in an area that sloths call home, planting a tree can make a huge difference all around the world. According to The Sloths Conservation Foundation, over 48 football fields worth of trees are chopped down every single minute and the only way to offset the carbon footprint is to plant more trees! You can purchase your own tree right here in the gift shop at Tanganyika, and a percentage of each is donated back to the Eden Restoration Project!
- Support Conservation Organizations – Do your research and donate to organizations that will use your donation to fund in-field conservation projects. Another way to help these organizations is to host your own fundraiser. From selling lemonade outside your house to throwing a benefit concert, every effort counts when you are working hard to help the conservation of sloths.
About the Author: TWP Marketing Content Captain, Chelsey Schartz, is a Kansas native who spends her free time volunteering with and photographing wildlife and traveling whenever possible. With a background in management, graphic design, and photography, she shares her love for wildlife conservation through all things content creation. Her favorite animals are sloths and owls and she wouldn’t be seen near one without her camera!