International Sloth Day

Even though sloths have gotten a bad rap over the years, they’re actually very fascinating animals. So fascinating, in fact, that a whole holiday has been created to celebrate them. This holiday is known, unsurprisingly, as International Sloth Day, and it’s observed on the 20th of October every year. Anyone who thinks they might want to learn more about these slow-moving mammals might want to take a few moments to learn more about them on this holiday.

The History of International Sloth Day

International Sloth Day was created in 2010 by the Aiunau Foundation—a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is tasked with wildlife and conservation efforts and is based in Colombia. They created International Sloth Day after the celebration of their First International Meeting on the Well-being and Conservation of Sloths held in Medellin, Colombia. It’s designed to address problems such as sloths being violently snatched from their mothers, mistreated, and then sold on the open market. The poaching and needless slaughter of sloths, as well as deforestation, are putting their continued existence into jeopardy.

Facts About Sloths

To show how fascinating sloths are, we’ve dug up some facts about them that we think everyone will appreciate. Let’s take a look at the following facts and learn more about these wonderful creatures.

  • There are two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths.
  • Sloths are native to the rainforests of South and Central America.
  • Sloths’ metabolisms are so slow, they only need to relieve themselves once or twice a week.
  • Sloths spend about 90% of their time hanging upside down.
  • Sloths’ hair grows in the opposite direction of most mammals.
  • Sloth hair contains algae, which helps to camouflage them in the trees.
  • The biggest threat facing sloths is poaching and deforestation.
  • Sloths can travel three times faster in water than they can on land.
  • Sloths can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes at a time.
  • Their stomachs can act as a flotation device to keep them from sinking underwater.
  • Sloths eat mainly buds, leaves, and shoots.
  • Their stomachs can take up to a month to digest just one leaf.
  • They can turn their heads on a 270-degree axis. That gives them a 360-degree view of their surroundings.
  • They are approximately three times stronger than the average person.

Observing International Sloth Day

Since the purpose of this holiday is to raise awareness about sloths, this is a good day to do just that. People can spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #InternationalSlothDay. People can also take the time to learn more about sloths and what can be done to ensure their continued survival. It’s also a good day to donate to one of the many wildlife agencies that work to protect these slow-moving mammals.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 20 Sunday
Next year (2025)
October 20 Monday
Last year (2023)
October 20 Friday