I wrote this piece not long ago on discovering what the threats to my favourite species (the pygmy three-toed sloth) were. I hope you enjoy reading it and that it may inspire you to help too!
What are your children’s favourite animals going to be? I remember my first favourite animal was a horse, then, as my love of the natural kingdom began to grow I discovered sloths. After looking at these magnificent and beautiful creatures in more detail, the pygmy three-toed sloth was the one that caught my eye.
These creatures absolutely fascinated me and after watching footage, looking at photos and reading up about them I realised that I had a new favourite animal. It seemed so relaxed, content and pensive, and on top of all this, looking at it made me giggle a little bit.
After I have graduated from university and got a job that pays more than minimum wage I have always dreamed of visiting Panama to go and see my favourite species with my own eyes. However, there are now only thought to be around 100 left in the wild and it seems that I will never be able to fulfil my dream to see them. Visits by tourists and seasonal visitors to Isla Escudo de Veraguas have degraded this highly vulnerable species’ habitat, and my visit would only contribute to the damage that has already been done. Recently, EDGE of Existence has begun a programme to save the pygmy three-toed sloth and I hope that it helps to raise awareness before it is too late.
So, what are your children’s favourite animals going to be? That is up to us. It could be anything, a tiger, a leopard or an elephant, or they may not have one. If the answer is the latter, this could be for one of two reasons, maybe they have little interest in the scraps that will be left of the natural world, or maybe the only animals which will be left in future society are seen as a nuisance, as with pigeons and foxes in the United Kingdom. I don’t want my children to look back at the species I can see now in a mystical dinosaur-like fashion, I want them to be able to see them with their own eyes, as I could, and hope to for the rest of my life.
What will my children’s favourite animal be? I’m hoping it’ll be a pygmy three-toed sloth.