Sloth yoga sold out in Tampa Bay. But should you do it? https://t.co/VjEvDfeEBB— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) December 9, 2019
Sloth yoga and other sloth activities are becoming more popular all around. With Alligator Attraction at John’s Pass as the first tourist destination in Florida to let people stretch and pose alongside two-toed sloths. The organization made national headlines for offering $175 alligator pool parties. Like the pool parties, their new animal event has proven popular — and prone to critique.
The organizations behind these kind of activities say wildlife contact helps visitors learn about conservation. But there’s no clear link that shows the experiences with wild animals in captivity lead to restoration in the wild. Experts say pay-to-play businesses perpetuate the idea that exotic animals are commodities. These kinds of activities often put animals into stressful situations and peril.
The sloth spike dates back years, lining up with Kristen Bell’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2012. A clip of the actress sobbing and hugging a sloth for her 31st birthday went viral.
Since Bell’s first Ellen appearance, privately obtained sloths imported from outside the U.S. have surged, Heard said. More sloths are kept as pets, featured in petting zoos or sold on black markets than before. But sloths don’t do well in captivity, with many cases where young sloths are taken from their mother too early and where they’re not fed the right foods
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