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I had another post lined up for today but, when I found out it was International Sloth Day, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share these photos with you. Now, I know this is not environmentally correct. I know I really shouldn’t have had a sloth hanging off me. But, when it was offered, I just couldn’t say no, and I think you can see how hilariously happy I was for this short five minutes.

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These photos were taken when I was managing an NGO near Cusco, Peru, back in 2011-2012. The British charity I was working for, Globalteer, runs an after-school programme at Picaflor House in the small town of Oropesa, near Cusco. On this day in August 2011, we were about to farewell a fabulous group of people who had been volunteering at our project and who all chipped in to give our children an extra-special treat, a visit to a local wildlife refuge and sanctuary.

The children were overjoyed, the refuge were very happy for the financial support of the entry fees and, just as we were leaving, one of the rangers brought this sloth to show us, offering to hang it off me as they looked. I wasn’t allowed to touch it – human germs! – which is why my arms are constantly outstretched, but it truly was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!

International Sloth Day was the brainchild of The Sloth Institute, in Costa Rica, one of many environmental organisations helping to research, rescue and release back into the wild these magnificent creatures. I don’t know enough about the organisation to endorse them but I would urge everyone to do what they can to help preserve the sloth and its environment all around the world.

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