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Meet the Sloths
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the reality series Meet the Sloths has lots of information about sloths and what is being done by a sanctuary to help them. There are lots of cute images of sloths, and many of their day-to-day stories will appeal to animal lovers of all ages. But the injuries, illnesses, and deaths of the animals (including babies) is a theme and may be troubling to young or sensitive viewers.
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What's the story?
MEET THE SLOTHS is a reality series featuring some of the day-to-day events at the Aviarios del Caribe Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. The series follows owner Judy Avey-Arroyo and some members of the sanctuary staff, including sloth nursery manager Claire Trimer and scientist Becky Cliffe, as they take care of approximately 150 sloths of various species that have been injured or orphaned in the wild. From catering to the sanctuary's first sloth and ambassador known as Princess Buttercup to nursing baby sloths back to health, the team takes care of and studies the animals in hopes of giving them better lives while learning more about them.
Is it any good?
Meet the Sloths offers lots of information about sloths, whose cute facial features, slow, graceful movements, and unique digestive patterns make them entertaining to watch. It also reveals some of the challenges that come with taking care of them, especially when they're ill or have birth defects that can lead to their demise. Details about some of the experiments conducted on the animals also are offered.
It's fun and interesting, but the series also serves as a publicity vehicle for the sanctuary, which is part of a family-owned tourist attraction. Also controversial is the fact that the sanctuary rehabilitates and releases very few sloths back into the wild. But the show goes far to help viewers understand many of the human and environmental threats to these animals and some of the efforts being made to help them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons behind creating reality shows about specific animals. Is it to educate people about them? To protect them?
What are the dangers associated with making cute or interesting animals more appealing to humans? Do you think what you see on these TV shows offers a real picture of the conditions in which these animals live?
What is the difference between an animal refuge and an animal sanctuary? What kinds of training do people need to run a sanctuary? What roles do they play in helping animals around the world?
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