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Urban Sloths: Public Knowledge, Opinions, and Interactions

By Kissia Ferreira Pereira, Robert John Young, Vanner Boere, Ita de Oliveira e Silva

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Free-range sloths living in an urban environment are rare. In this study, opinions, attitudes, and interactions with a population of Bradypus variegatus were investigated through short, structured interviews and informal, opportunistic observations of people in the pubic square where the sloths live. A questionnaire was applied to people in the square where the sloths live. Opinions about population size differed greatly and younger people were concerned as to whether the square was an appropriate place for them. Some human-sloth interactions showed the consequences of a lack of biological knowledge. Sloths are strictly folivorous and are independent of human sources of food. Apparently, sloths are indifferent to humans. Despite the good intentions of people, there are many misconceptions about the behaviour and needs of sloths, which causes low wellbeing for the animals. These results demonstrate that actions in environmental education of the public could be beneficial for sloths.


Katie Osborn

Publication Title Animals
Volume 8
Issue 6
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Kissia Ferreira Pereira; Robert John Young; Vanner Boere; Ita de Oliveira e Silva (2018), "Urban Sloths: Public Knowledge, Opinions, and Interactions,"

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  1. Animal roles
  2. open access
  3. peer-reviewed
  4. sloths
  5. Urban wildlife
  6. Wild animals
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed