Given the popularity of twerking and of baby sloths, it was only a matter of time before the memes collided to give us twerking baby sloths. It is, after all, what the Internet is for.
These particular baby sloths are some of the stars of Animal Planet's new eight-part MEET THE SLOTHS series, which takes us behind-the-scenes of a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica that's home to more than 150 orphaned and injured sloths.
Storylines in this, the world's first sloth-u-soap, are far from sleepy and include sloth love triangles, teenage pregnancies and heartache. Animal fans will fall in love with a host of adorable characters including Princess Buttercup; Tigger, the hyper-active baby sloth; and Randy, the sanctuary's resident slothario.
The series launches in the States this Saturday, November 9, on Animal Planet at 11 a.m. It represents the latest in a long line of my popular sloth creations that include The Sloth Appreciation Society and the New York Times best-selling A LITTLE BOOK OF SLOTH.
It all started with a viral video I posted in May 2010 called MEET THE SLOTHS. This became an international hit gathering celebrity fans like Ashton Kutcher and Kristen Bell and column inches from Moscow to Melbourne.
I then wrote and produced a special for Animal Planet, TOO CUTE! BABY SLOTHS, which won a string of awards and was such a ratings smash that Discovery commissioned this all new MEET THE SLOTHS series.
I am enormously proud that in just over three years MEET THE SLOTHS has gone from viral video to a major global brand that launches in not just the US, but the UK, Canada, Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, Poland and Europe.
The sloths are set to take over the world. Not bad going for an animal with a reputation for being lazy.
This video stars a very sleepy baby sloth who is trying to wish you happy international sloth day (October 19th) but he can't stop yawning.
Sloths are one of nature's most misunderstood creatures. Often derided as lazy and stupid, they are in fact extremely successful and being slow and sleepy is the key to their success. As busy bipedal apes, I have always felt we have much to learn from the humble sloth and his energy-saving lifestyle, which is why I founded the Sloth Appreciation Society.
And it seems I was right. Scientists at the University of Rochester have just discovered how incredibly important sleep is to humans. In a paper published this week they reveal for the first time that sleep is essential for cleansing the brain of toxins that cause Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders. Sleep allows the brain to have a spring clean and put out the trash.
So make like a sloth this International Sloth Day and have an extra long lie in. It will be good for your brain.
Lucy Cooke is the author of the New York Times best-seller A Little Book of...
Forget flowers or chocolates. This year the perfect Valentine's Day gift is a bucket of sloths. A party-sized bucket with plenty of sloth hugs to go around.
I filmed this particular tub of love at the Aviarios del Caribe sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica, a somewhat eccentric place where the sight of a red bucket brimming with baby sloths is commonplace. And nobody looks twice.
Nobody expect me. When I first visited the sanctuary back in 2010, I realized that this was an extraordinary world. As a zoologist I have always been fascinated by the sloth's idiosyncratic biology. What's not to like about an animal that spends up to 80 percent of its time, ahem, 'resting'? And this place is home to more than 150 snoozing sloths, many the victim of man's desire to go faster than nature intended. Sixty years of evolution have not prepared the sloth for the roads and power lines that now criss-cross its jungle home.
I posted a short video, 'Meet the Sloths,' online and within days it went viral, knocking up a million views in under a week. The video went on to be tweeted by celebrities like Ricky Gervais and Ashton Kutcher, and was featured in international press from the Moscow Times to the Washington Post, who declared sloths 'the new kittens.'
I've made this latest video to celebrate the release of my first book, A Little Book of Sloth. Featuring adorable photographs, facts and whimsical stories about the slumbering residents of the world's first sloth orphanage.
Contrary to popular belief, sloths aren't lazy or stupid but mindful and energy-saving. And utterly adorable. The babies in particular are a goofy mixture of inappropriate dozing, wobbly vulnerability and hooks for hands.
Baby sloths are Jedi masters of hugging, a reflex action that helps them cling to their mum high up in the trees for the first year six months of their lives. With nothing to hold, the orphaned babies often arrive distressed, but are calmed by a stuffed toy to squeeze in place of their mum.
Sloths have an unusually low body temperature for a warm-blooded mammal and the Costa Rican nights can be a trifle chilly for a baby who no longer has its mum to cling to. So the very young ones are kept in incubators and in extreme cases wear bespoke sloth pajamas handcrafted from old sports socks. These should come with a public health warning -- the sight of a baby sloth in a toweling onesie is enough to make a grown woman's ovaries explode from cute overload.
And as for the red bucket. Well, it's the easiest way to transport half a dozen sleepy babies from snack time to nap time. Bucket by the way is the sloths' favorite way to travel. It's fast. It's like flying. And it allows them to snooze on the move. Sweet.
A Little Book of Sloth is published by Simon and Schuster on March 5th 2013. A percentage of sales goes to the sloth sanctuary so that they can continue their work rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured animals. You can pre-order your copy
Sloths have long been derided as lazy and stupid but I think we humans have a lot to learn from their from their energy-efficient lifestyle. The world is moving at an unsustainable pace. And so are we. In fact all this rushing around could be slowly killing us as well as the planet we live on. A rrecent scientific study revealed the need to for us to value sleep more. Without enough sleep, we increase our risk of a wide range of illnesses from diabetes to cancer.
So it's probably a good thing that the second annual International Sloth Day is just around the corner, on October 20th. A day for us to slow down and appreciated the way of the sloth.
Sloth Day is organized by the AIUNAU sloth foundation, which has a sanctuary in Colombia that rescues sloths that have been zapped by power lines, hit by cars or stolen for the illegal pet trade. Tinka Plese, who started the foundation, is pioneering work rehabilitating these cryptic animals and releasing them back into the wild.
I visited the sanctuary in March and was really impressed by the work they do. So I made this little video to help them promote their work. Almost all of the sloths in the video have now been successfully released back into the wild where they belong.
Saving sloths is expensive work and AIUNAU desperately need more funding to carry on rehabilitating these gentle creatures and educating other organizations in central and south America to do the same. So why not organize a slow fundraiser for AIUNAU this sloth day? You could give up coffee for the week, take a slow bike-ride to work and sleep-in on Saturday. Then donate the money you save to AIUNAU. It would be good for you, and the sloths.
Lucy Cooke's first book, 'A Little Book of Sloth', featuring cute pictures and stories about these gentle creatures is released in March 2013. A percentage of profits is going towards saving sloths. You can pre-order it
The sleepy land of Slothville is holding an alternative Olympic games: the SLOTHLYMPICS. Whilst the rest of the world praises speed, here at the headquarters of the Sloth Appreciation Society, we believe that being fast is over-rated and there is much to be said for living life at...
Ladies and gentlemen, this week's unlikely cute animal is Sid, a baby pangolin. I'm guessing most of you have never heard of a pangolin before, and...
Much like another of my favorite animals -- the sloth -- Tasmanian devils have had...
I have a confession to make. I hate cute animals. The so-called charismatic mega-fauna -- pandas, penguins and baby polar bears -- get all the attention. I think it's time to change the record and share some of that love with the ugly, weird freaks of the animal world before...
It would seem that even baby sloths can suffer a bad attack of the Mondays. But Sebastian, the baby in this clip, is not so much blue from sadness as feeling the cold. He's an orphan at the sloth sanctuary of Costa Rica. Sloths can't control their body temperature like...
In a sleepy corner of Costa Rica there's a very peculiar sanctuary. The only one in the world devoted to saving orphaned and injured sloths.
For the past year I've been making a documentary about this curious place and it's somnolent residents. It premiers this Saturday December 17th at 8pm EST on Animal Planet. It's a very funny film about a bunch of sloths whose lives are not as sleepy as you might think.
The sanctuary is run by celebrated sloth whisperer Judy Arroyo and is home to over 160 sloths. Many arrive as orphaned babies whose mother's have been zapped by power lines or hit by cars.
Judy does her best to be a sloth mom and teach the babies how to be a sloth -- potty training and how to climb are key parts of their sloth school curriculum. But at present she doesn't know how to teach them what leaves are safe to eat. The Costa Rican jungle is a veritable pharmacy of toxic trees and sloths are adapted to eat just a handful of species.
So Judy's hand-raised orphans remain guests at her exclusive five-star retreat for the rest of their lives. There they are lovingly cared for and have their every whim catered for. But there is just one house rule. No sex. With the sanctuary full to bursting Judy really doesn't want any more baby sloths.
But the problem they have is that when the sanctuary females are in heat they scream. For sex. This attracts male wild sloths from up to 700m away. For twenty years a steady stream of creeping Casanova's have beaten a slow path to the sanctuary to try their luck with the ladies.
These wild Lothario's are remarkably persistent and my film features one particularly cheeky male whom Judy christened Randy. His exploits led me to believe that sloths have in fact been named after the wrong deadly sin. Lust would be far more appropriate.
For more information about the film log on to www.slothville.com, follow slothville on facebook or @slothville on...
Six months ago I posted a short video I made called "Meet the sloths" that features some of the sleepy residents of the Aviarios del Caribe, the world's only sloth orphanage in Costa Rica. The world then went nuts for sloths, the video went viral and has now...