We love our three-toed sloths at Luna Nueva, and the good news is that more and more are arriving. Over the past few years we’ve welcomed many baby three-toed sloths into the Luna family, and our guests often develop quite an attachment to the little ones. We estimate that there are dozens of three-toed sloths now living on our property, and it’s rare not to see sloths if you’re on the property for even a few days.
Mama sloths are highly territorial, and the mama with the territory across from Casa Luna and near the pool gave birth a few months ago to a lovely little girl. We’ve admired the loving care that flows from the mama to the baby. Carlos Rodriguez was moved to comment that this particular mama was quite a devoted and attentive parent. And we saw that in action today.
The mama and baby were in the understory, and it looked like they were deciding if the baby should venture forth on a branch. They were at the main trunk, in a crook of the tree, and the mama peered in to check on the little one.
Something clicked and the mama headed across the branch, seeming to indicate that the baby should follow.
They moved for a few minutes in a coordinated manner, with the arm and leg movements almost synchronized.
Then the mama paused while the baby took off for a solo climb. Such a tiny little creature, weighing maybe just a pound and mostly a ball of soft grey hair not yet adorned with the algae that characterize an adults’ appearance.
The baby carefully moved across the limb, on her own for perhaps fifteen minutes.
But then, maybe from exhaustion or perhaps it was all just too overwhelming, the baby clearly signalled that it was time to reunite with mama. We watched as the mama came back to the baby, positioning herself to permit the baby to slip onto her chest, and then they gently and quietly continued on their route.
We were fortunate to have witnessed this, and the photos will perhaps give you a feel for the baby’s tentative but determined exploration and the tenderness of the reunion.