A Wild Encounter

Costa Rica is a wildlife lovers delight. Every way you turn, you will see a multitude of creatures, from the cute to the ridiculously cute. With around 5000 photographs to show for my month there, this is the tale of an encounter with my favourite of all the furry inhabitants.

 “Venga! Venga!” exclaimed the man in jeans, who had the biggest smile he could possibly fit onto his face and was almost hopping on one leg with excitement. We had enjoyed our morning walk through the forest and were about to head off to breakfast. But our enthusiastic new guide who was now leaping over branches, turning his head every few moments to check we were following, had other ideas for us.

Beautiftul morning for a stroll through the forest


We turned a corner into what looked like an allotment, with a shed on the right hand-side. I was beginning to doubt whether this was going to be a very exciting surprise.  But he continued to hop around, as he pointed frantically towards a couple of trees.

And then I saw it…

Sloth Face
A 3-toed sloth

Slowly, creeping down the middle of two trees, the majestic creature twisted and turned to make his journey to the ground.

Sloth nearly at the bottom
Sloths live in trees and it’s only about once a week that they come down to use the toilet. They dig a small hole, fill it and then cover it with leaves. Very polite. They are really slow, so they have to be organised as it takes them about 30 minutes to get down. They are at their most vulnerable to predators during this time. Who’d’ve thought going to the loo could be such a event!
Sloth claws
Sloths can live up to 20-30 years in the wild… If they survive the toilet experience.
Sloth Back
Our sloth must have been a male, we think, because of this pattern of yellow hair and distinctive black stripe on his back. It’s a different shape on every male. Look at those tree skills! 


We stood quietly and watched him descend. Mouths open and hearts racing. It was a stunning sight.

Once he had nearly made it to the ground, he looked around at me as if to say, ‘OK you’ve had your show, are you really going to watch me go to the toilet as well?’

Sloth Eye contact
What are you lookin’ at?


I took that as a good moment to leave. Emotional and moved by this close encounter, we finished our walk looking upwards, greedily trying to see more of his friends.

They didn’t disappoint us…

Sloth in a tree
This is how you are more likely to see a sloth – snuggled up in a tree, having a doze. I’d love to be a sloth.
Sloth chin scratch
Little scratch before a nap. As the name suggests, these sloths have 3 toes on each hand. Perfect for an itchy chin.
Sloth yawn
Oh goodness, I’m so tired. I’ve been very busy eating leaves don’t you know…
Sleepy sloth
In this photo, I notice that he is hugging the tiniest branch to sleep on – that’s some tree hugging/ sleeping skills
Sloth sleepy face
Can I see that incredibly cute face again? Yes. Yes you can. So cute!!

Costa Rica really is a wildlife lovers delight.


What has been your favourite wildlife encounter?


    1. Wow 😀 I’m so happy/ excited for you! Costa Rica will be wonderful for your honeymoon. There are so many beautiful places to see and it really is one of the top spots I’ve been to for opportunities to see Wildlife – the cute creatures are all over the place. Hope you love it as much as I did 🙂

  1. the sloth is adorable…. I have never seen one. my animal meets dont get that exciting…bu I just posted a photo on my blog of my back deck, with both a younng raccoon and young opossum there together eating cat food. Also one of a different opossum with a baby on her back. I really enjoy your blog.

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