Many Peace Corps experiences stand out in my mind when I think back, but these pictures of Javier, the rescued baby sloth always get me. In the indigenous community of Rio Oeste Arriba, where I lived, it hasn’t been long since locals ate sloths. Now, not only do they not eat them, there are even people that rescue them from harm. My community member Jon found this little guy clinging to his lifeless mother’s body as another male sloth tried to kill him. Male sloths will sometimes see other male offspring as competition and try to kill them. Javier’s mother died defending him against another male and Jon found the little guy right before he was about to be next.

Javier the baby sloth

Can’t even open his eyes

Clinging to the stuffed animal he thought was his new mom. Sloth Panama Rio Oeste

Clinging to the stuffed animal he thought was his new mom.

Getting a little bit bigger

Getting a little bit bigger

 

 A teenager

We rescued another one and he is a teenager! No name..yet.