The untold story of deforestation: Slothageddon
When a stretch of forest in Suriname was slatted to be cleared in October 2012, Monique Pool, a known sloth caretaker, was asked if she could take in the 14 displaced sloths. Of course she said yes (or she would have faced the wrath of a jealous internet).
A machine operator slowly pushed over trees as Pool and a team of volunteers rushed about picking up the sloths that fell out of the canopy. As 14 quickly turned to 200, the sloth lover’s dream come true became the ultimate nightmare: slothageddon (Pool’s word, not mine).
From BBC News:
Sloths were hanging everywhere — from the trees in her back garden, from the bars on the living room window, and anything else they would hold on to. “Two female adults sat on the TV stand and the babies would climb up the matriarchs.” One very young sloth, known as Lola, would pop up in the strangest places, like the stove top — though not when the gas was alight, luckily. “She was an amazing little thing,” Pool says. “She didn’t like to sit with the others, she preferred to hang behind the fridge where it’s nice and warm.”
This scene perfectly encapsulates Pool’s need for her other new word:
- Overwhelmed by sloths
- Overwhelmed by sloth — so tired after catching sloths all day that you don’t want to get out of bed
- Overwhelmed by the cuteness of sloths [See Kristen Bell]
- Overwhelmed by sloth lovers [See Kristen Bell, again]
As of now, all but three young’uns of the 200 sloths have been re-released back to the wild. But that might not be the end of the story. BBC News reports that Pool has learned of a new patch of forest slated to be cleared. “The owner thinks there are 15 sloths, so Pool has calculated there could be as many as 300.”
Get Grist in your inbox