The unexpected visitor

Our wildlife viewing trip to the Amazon had a primary target: a sloth.

Since arriving at the lodge, I had asked our guide where to find it. Yesenia told me that the two-toed, diurnal one could be found in the treetops feeding on fresh young leaves, while the two-toed, nocturnal one is challenging to spot as their dark brown fur makes them almost invisible.

Yesenia explained to me that the forest has rules: when someone anxiously wants to observe a particular species, it usually does not allow it, so if my target was to see the sloth, it was best to relax, enjoy all the wonders of the Amazon forest, that´s why I decided to take her words to heart to simply enjoy all the little-big things you find at every step.

Fascinating Natural History

Sloths have an entire ecosystem living in their fur composed of different species of algae fungi in a symbiotic relationship of mutualism. These organisms have a habitat in which they thrive while their presence provides a green coat that allows the host to go unnoticed by birds of prey that use their eyesight to hunt.

What about those that hunt by smell?

The growth of algae and fungi makes sloths look like trees, smell like trees, and even move slowly like tree branches, helped by not producing any body odor, which makes them almost indistinguishable from predators that use their sense of smell.

Blessed canopy tower

It was the day to visit the observation tower for which Yesenia brought the telescope to have a close view of the creatures in the forest’s upper canopy. We had observed toucans, parrots, dozens of parrots flying very close, and two groups of howler monkeys drying in the treetops as it had rained the night before.

The encounter

Our guide shouted «perezoso» a word that we could not understand while she was looking very excited through the telescope, to suddenly turn her gaze towards me and with a gesture for me to approach quickly to receive one of the best gifts of my life; a male three-toed sloth.

After everyone in the group had watched him, I took dozens of pictures of his back, head, limbs, and happy face until he entered the dense foliage. What an experience!

Lifetime Experience

I did not expect the forest to be so generous to me. Near the end of dinner, the bartender came rushing over to tell Yesenia that he had seen something, so our guide said let’s go. As we walked towards the bar, a two-toed nocturnal sloth was hanging out on the deck about 10 feet away on the way to the forest.

Divine gift, thank you, nature…

About Author

Sani Lodge
In our trips, you have the opportunity to explore untouched forests, understand the intrinsic relationships among plants and animals, search for stunning flora and fauna and learn from ancient cultures: the true treasures of the Amazon Rainforest. When you stay with us, you become part of our extended community where we share and teach you about our environment and culture. At Sani Lodge, you are not only choosing an amazing adventure, but also the opportunity to immerse yourself in our Amazon Kichwa lifestyle. Come and join us, support our indigenous community and the Rainforest conservation that you will love to call it home.


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