We have now moved a little over a year ago to the Sloth Wellness Center, where the long-term residents Lucas, 19November and Ann (5 years in our care), as well as Anna (1 year in our care) and Beertje have found a new home in the forest surrounding our facilities. We regularly see 19November, Anna and Beertje who come to show themselves to let us know they are doing well. And maybe because they miss us a little bit (who knows?).
Last Friday, 19November was seen by a visitor who noticed that she was not alone. YES! She has a baby… The baby was named after the visitor, Madeleine Lamb, and we now see 19November and Maddy (short for Madeleine as we do not know if it is a boy or a girl) regularly around (it’s been a week). And we already love Maddy. She is curious like her mom, and we have seen her suckling also several times. So this is a first time that we are sharing the pictures with all of you, which were taken by the Lamb family and our returning intern Gabriella Abbott-Gribben.
The Lamb family also made a really amazing video of Maddy.
Baby sloths starts eating leaves already with the mother as of the third day, while it continues to suckle from her mother’s breast. In sloths the mammary gland is located in the armpit. The baby also licks regurgitated leaves from the mother’s mouth, that way she learns what leaves to eat.
We managed to give all animals with the exception of Stoney and Elly their own moving box. Stoney and Elly were in one kennel together. We managed to put all the kennels in the Sloth Rescue Vehicle. And at around 5 PM we set out to the center with a moving van and all animals in the Sloth Rescue Bus. The animals who were not used to being confined to a small space were stressed by this adventure. The big exception were probably the anteaters who like to be confined to a small dark space where they can sleep.
We were now ready to spend the first night at the center. The babies were left behind in the city with Annelies, who would take care of them for one day, after which we would transfer them on the 1st of August also to the Center. We started to prepare their food and care for them and hope they would feel more at ease in the morning.
Thanks to our volunteers things went well at this end. We also have to thank our friends from Bloemendaal, who were waiting for us with 14 people to help unload the moving van in a mere 20 minutes. We managed to unload everything just before night fell.
So we moved. Dealing with a difficult situation of no energy, no water, unfinished building. But there was no other option. The operation started on the 30th of July, when we drove out to the center with four animals that we had rescued in the past three days, and who were ready to be released. We had to release them also to make room (we needed the kennels in which we had temporarily housed them) to be able to move our animals the next day to the center.
Our incredible volunteers have helped to make it happen. When we arrived on the 30th of July our friends from Bloemendaal Resort came to see how the four rescues were released. Fortunately, as it was already late, they had lights with them for filming, which lights helped us to find our way to the kitchen where they helped us place the cooker.
Ruben Leter and his colleague student Bregje Bouma from the School for Journalism in Utrecht, the Netherlands, visited us just before we are moving. For the TV program NOON, which is broadcast every Friday on RTV Utrecht, 10 students from this school travelled to Suriname for two weeks to make two episodes. We were very pleased that they made this beautiful film about the sloths.