This past May, a staff member from Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica was on the beach checking out a report of an injured animal. He was getting ready to head back to the center when over the sound of the ocean, he suddenly heard a baby crying. That’s when he spotted the baby sloth on the sand.
“He heard the cry and immediately recognized it was a baby sloth (their cry is like a whistle),” Noelia, a staff member at Jaguar Rescue Center, told The Dodo. “He saw the mom on the tree, but she was climbing back to the top. We believe the baby fell from his mom and he cried to attract her, but because of the noise at the beach, she probably didn’t hear him.”
The team at Jaguar Rescue Center checked out the baby sloth to make sure he wasn’t injured from the fall. He seemed OK, just a little weak, so they gave him some fluids and time to rest. They determined he was only a few weeks old based on his size, and quickly began formulating a plan to reunite him with his mom.
First, they recorded the baby sloth crying, then went back to the beach with a speaker. They played the baby’s cry and waited until the mama sloth noticed and started to make her way back down the tree. That’s when they brought the baby back to the beach for the reunion.
It took almost two hours of waiting at the bottom of the tree with the baby sloth, but finally, his mom was close enough to pull him back into her arms again, and everyone there quickly got emotional watching the sweet reunion.
“When she grabbed him, we [could] tell she missed her baby so much and was grateful to have him back,” Noelia said. “It was an emotional moment for all of us, and we hope this mom and baby [do] stay safe. It melts our hearts every time we can witness the reunion of a mom and her baby.”
The mama sloth had no idea her baby had fallen, but thanks to some quick-thinking rescuers, the pair are now reunited and back to living their lives together.