Learning the Ropes
Brown-Throated Sloth and Baby (Bradypus variegatus) - Punta Quepos, Costa Rica
A three toed sloth rests comfortably in a tree as her adventurous baby tests its climbing skills on a precariously small branch. Sloths are mysterious creatures. They sleep up to 20 hours a day, and even when awake they stay mainly motionless. Their bodies are designed for lazy life in the forest canopies of Central and South America. Long claws and strong arms give them the grip necessary for live upside down. Sloths are the slowest mammals on the planet, so slow that green algae grows on the wirey fur of the adults. The sloths life revolves around sleeping and eating, they also have what appears to be a permanent smile on their face, which is why I think many find this animal so endearing. I've been fascinated with sloths for a long time and on my trip to Costa Rica I was really hoping to capture an image of one in the wild. Photographing sloths offers a multitude of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is simply finding them. While they are quite common, they typically remain motionless high in the forest canopy, which can make spotting them extremely difficult. If you're lucky enough to spot one, photographing them is still very hard simply because they so rarely move. Mostly when you spot a sloth you see a ball of fur and that's about it. Another big challenge is having to shoot through dense jungle. Leaves, vines and branches more often than not block your line of sight. With all these challenges taken into consideration I feel very lucky to have had such a great moment in the forest with these wonderful creatures. I felt very privileged to be able to witness these intimate moments between a mother and her baby in the wild. Baby sloths typically stay attached to their mom at all times clinging to their bellies. Before I knew it this tenacious little one was clmbing out onto a very skinny branch completely seperated from the saftey of mom. She didn't seem too worried, though and spent much of the time sleeping. Soon the baby grew tired and climbed back into its mothers arms and she wrapped themselves into a ball and went back to sleep.
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