Meet the Hanging Muppets of Manuel Antonio National Park AKA Sloths

sloth manuel antonio national park

sloth manuel antonio national park


Peep Mama Muppet above.


See the Baby Muppet?


Both decided not to hang when I snapped the above shot, through the telescopic lens of the guide at Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica.


Kelli and I spent 1 month in Quepos way back in 2013. One trips to the park. One has to. You’d be silly to travel through the region and not see this most diverse park, which is both the smallest in Costa Rica but which offers the richest array of wildlife for such a tiny slice of paradise.


The 2 and 3 toed sloths we preserved via picture look like Muppets. Jim Henson could not have done a finer job designing these guys and dolls.


Peep the facial features. Warm, pleasant, genteel. Like a Muppet designed to make kids laugh. Or to at least put kids at ease.


Sammi at My Tan Feet wrote a fabulous resource about where to spot sloths in Costa Rica:


Where to See Sloths in Costa Rica: Tips for Spotting Perezosos




The face is one thing. But the Muppet I mean sloth movements perfectly mirror a phlegmatic character from the kids show. Slow and deliberate, a sloth appears to be mindfully deciding how to move on an inch by inch basis. Almost like watching a stoner after a much feast coming down after a carbo crash, eyes blinking at the speed of a tortoise, face moving at the speed of a snail.


The sloths we saw in the jungles of Bribri Costa Rica also carried the same gait. Or moved at the pace of molasses flowing down a tree in -40 Fahrenheit temperatures.


The Hair


The hair makes the costume.


Long and ample, perhaps the ultimate Muppet feature of the sloth, said hair seems like it’d be fun to wear.


This is until you realize that at any time, 200 plus cockroaches live on a sloth. No joke. 200 plus roaches living within the hair of these guys and gals, rooting around, burrowing, living and loving where the sun don’t shine.


The Roach Motel nature of sloths is due to their slow-moving, impossibly chill, sedentary ways. Roaches move in. And they can move out.


But being a Roach Motel is only one fun aspect of sloths. These lovable creatures are so stationary throughout much of the day that moss grows on their coat. Big-time advantage here; if you carry a green hue and live in the canopy, predators like the fearsome Harpey eagle cannot see you, hunt you, kill you and eat you.


Nature is smart, ain’t she?


The Hanging


The mother and baby sloth above were upright when preserved via photo but many times sloths hang in the breeze, either chilling completely or munching on leaves from trees, doing their best to keep the canopy in check.


Chalk another one up for a Muppet-worthy characteristic.


The dexterity of these guys was something to behold when we lived in the jungle. You’d see a sloth gracefully move from tree to tree some 150 feet above the earth in a Devil may care, relaxed, effortless fashion, always knowing which branch or vine would support their weight.


Types of Sloth


2 sloths live in Manuel Antonio National Park: the 2 toed sloth and the 3 toed sloth.


The 3 toed sloth mom and kid combo graces this travel page. But the 2 toed sloth looks a lot funkier, like Sonic the Hedgehog.


2 toed sloth


Whether 2 or 3 toed, sloths are cute.


Pay a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park or Costa Rica and enjoy these hanging Muppets.