By Ted van Hooff
When Sigfried, a cock who is always alert, starts to crow at a tree in a backyard in South Paramaribo, his owners suspect something is wrong. Sigfried has spotted an intruder: a three-fingered sloth is hanging lonely on a branch.
The Green Heritage Fund is called in. While Sigfried is kept at a distance with a broom – no intruder is safe in his yard – Monique climbs into the tree to catch the sloth. It is an emaciated male with nails that are too short. Most likely someone kept him as a pet. Long nails are considered a danger when keeping an animal like this at home and for that reason they are often cut off.
The sloth will gain his strengths in the sloth shelter of Green Heritage Fund Suriname in Groningen and ultimately be released into the forest where he belongs. But before that happens, his nails have to be long enough. He needs them to groom his fur and to be able to climb. As a result of his slow metabolism, the nails of sloths grow very slowly. It may take up to two years before this animal can climb around in the forest again with proper nails.
Thanks to Sigfried’s alertness that day will for sure come.