Protect Rare Pygmy Three-Toed Sloths in the Wild

In September, officials from the Dallas World Aquarium sparked international outrage after attempting to take six of eight pygmy three-toed sloths who were captured from their only home in the Isla Escudo de Veraguas off the coast of Panama without really telling anyone what they were doing.



The DWA claimed that its plans to catch and import sloths would benefit the species through a captive breeding program and argued that it had the proper paperwork and permits to do so, but local outcry stopped them from leaving with the sloths who were later returned to the island and released.

Sadly, it's believed that two of the sloths died following the ordeal as a result of their capture.



Since then, the Animal Welfare Institute has filed an emergency petition to have these rare sloths listed as an endangered species. Even though they are classified by the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered, they're not covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) because they were only recognized as a distinct species in 2001, which is why it was so easy for the DWA to get export permits and move forward without an import permit from the U.S.



Status as endangered species would reduce the chances that others will attempt to capture and import them and help raise awareness about their plight. With as few as 79 left in the wild, protecting them in their habitat is critical to their survival. 



Please sign the petition asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support an emergency listing for pygmy three-toed sloths.

As someone who is concerned about wildlife and the future survival of pygmy three-toed sloths, I am writing to ask you to support the Animal Welfare Institute's emergency petition to list them under the Endangered Species Act.

The Dallas World Aquarium's recent, misguided and failed attempt to import six of these rare creatures from their only home in the Isla Escudo de Veraguas off the coast of Panama highlights exactly why they need immediate protection.

The knowledge of how poorly they do in captivity and the fact that no one has ever successfully kept or bred these sloths in captivity should make it obvious that with as few as 79 in the wild no one should be capturing them or moving them.


Sadly, it's believed that two of the sloths died following the ordeal as a result of their capture.

I sincerely hope that you will support ESA protection for the pygmy three-toed sloth to stop more attempts to capture and import them, in addition to encouraging partnerships that will raise public awareness about their plight and protect their habitat in the wild.

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