OH. EM. GEE.
For sloth lovers (and -- let's be real -- who doesn't love sloths?), the Sloth Institute Costa Rica just might be heaven on earth. The venue in Manuel Antonio is dedicated to helping sloths through the process of rescue, rehabilitation and release.
Wildlife conservationist and photographer Sam Trull, who helped co-found the institute, captured these adorable creatures for her new book, Slothlove. She goes beyond just photos, though, and understands the lives of these animals who wind up orphaned as babies or injured as adults at the institute.
"[A]ll of these [sloths featured in the book] were orphaned," she told The Huffington Post. "Likely from human encroachment on their habitat either killing their mother or interrupting their normal relationship with her."
She explained more to the Manhattan Book Review:
Baby sloths get orphaned from their mothers when they are anywhere from a few hours old to a few months old. There isn’t always an obvious reason why they have been orphaned, but being in such a highly degraded environment it is likely always caused from human presence. Adult injured sloths usually arrive at the KSTR rescue clinic because they have been electrocuted (sloths climb electric wires that connect through the trees because they need to get to different patches of forest that have been separated by human development). Sloths are also sometimes hit by cars and attacked by dogs.
Trull is a fan of sloths herself, and not just because they are cute.
"I think one of my favorite things about sloths is that they mind their own business!" she said. "I realize that the 'circle of life' requires all kinds of species of animals, including mischievous monkeys and carnivorous cats, and no offense to those animals that need to eat other animals to survive. But how can I not be drawn to species that just want to eat their leaves, relax in the sunshine and the breeze and have a good scratch?! In addition, they have a very curious and playful side, something most people have never and will never see, but it is definitely the most endearing thing I have ever seen."
Check out more photos from Trull's book below.
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