Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A sloth everyday

I think my double-tooth kite story brings to an end the bird photos that might be even remotely interesting.  I may even be coming to the end of my Panama trip blog entries.  But a couple of loose ends remain.

The first time I went to Costa Rica I remember so clearly wanting to see a sloth - even more than any bird I could think of wanting to see!  The PBS television show Nature has had several shows on sloths and one of the shows focused on miracle orphans that included a sloth rescue location in Costa Rica.  It seemed within reason that if there was a baby sloth rescue location in CR there must be sloths in CR.  Never saw one. Panama was a different story.  We saw at least one sloth every day. 

An old cinder block building in Parque Natural Metropolitano reminded me of the general upkeep of the buildings on Belle Isle.  It was beautiful in an artsy sort of way.

Below:  And just across the trail - kitty corner from the building - a sleeping sloth

Hoffmann's two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) - apparently sleeping.  Never saw it move.

Above and two photos below:  Three-toed sloth clasping her baby on the trail near El Valle de Anton.

Three-toed sloths are members of the genus Bradypus and the family Bradypodidae. The four living species of three-toed sloths are the brown-throated sloth, the maned sloth, the pale-throated sloth, and the pygmy three-toed sloth. 

All of our three-toed sloths, except possibly the one too high up in a tree on our first day to really see,  appeared essentially the same but I don't know which species they were.  Wikipedia describes three-toed as being the size of a small dog or a large cat.  The sloth above was certainly larger than than a dog or cat, but then she has her arms wrapped around her baby as the video below will show.  I was reminded of the Nature video, Miracle Orphans, again.  A baby sloth will surely die, and quickly, if something happens to its mother and it is not rescued soon thereafter.

Above and below:  The image of the sloth above has been lightened by in-camera editing software.  It is a male and was seen very near to where we saw the female with her baby just the day before.  Maybe the father of the infant?  Below is the same sloth in an unedited close-up photo.

I think in all we saw three two-toed and three three-toed sloths.  Four three-toed if you include the baby in the photos above.  The most memorable sloth may have been - and I did not get a photo - was the sight of a two-toed sloth slowly crawling upside down along a utility wire in the town of El Valle.  This was at night and we were returning to our hotel after our evening meal in town.  It was dark, but the streetlights made it bright enough and some got photos.

Of the sloth spotters, Lisa won hands down.  I think she was the first to find at least four or five of the six, including the one on the utility wire.

Finally, my video of the mother sloth and her baby on the trails near El Valle.  I should have known better to keep my mouth shut, but I was caught up in the moment of it all.  That's my voice commenting on "see how gooda mama's they are."  Oh my goodness, I am embarrassed, but if I don't own up to it I won't be able to share this video.  I tried to edit this out using iMovie, but iMovie has changed and I can't quickly figure it out. Did I say I really wanted to see a sloth?  Well in Panama I did and I would happily return to see more.

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