We are Robert Williams from England and Sarah Madenwald from the U.S.A, together we run a hostel called Toucan Smiles located just outside of the village of Puerto Lindo on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Toucan Smiles is a large property a part of which will be used for the care of sloths that need help.
Sarah has lived in Panama for over 10 years and myself, Robert, for the last 4 years. We decided to do something positive to help the sloths in this part of Panama when, a few months ago, Sarah saw a group of school children throwing stones at something near the road. On investigation she saw they were throwing stones at a sloth which, after chasing the children away, she brought back and had him checked over by a vet. After a few days and careful observation we released him back into his environment. This is not an uncommon occurrence and if we receive sufficient funding we would like to employ someone to visit the local schools and help educate the children as to how to understand and live in harmony with their local environment and to respect the local wildlife.
We work with the local authorities so when they have a situation involving sloths they know how to contact us. This picture is well documented and we have no original content to show you but this type of situation happens more often then you would expect.
We do not wish to keep sloths in captivity or run some kind of commercial sloth zoo like some other organizations in Central America. We only wish to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into their habitat. Sometimes these little guys just need a little help and we are here to provide it. There is no other organization to help sloths in this area of Panama.
Much of this rain forest we live in is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and one of the most bio-diverse rain forests on the planet! We work closely with Portobelo Adventures who in addition to helping people study and appreciate the local flora and fauna, are deeply committed to protecting rain forest and stopping the poaching of local wildlife.