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You can spend the night with sloths at a 'Sloth Sanctuary' in Oregon for $600


You can spend the night with sloths at a 'Sloth Sanctuary' in Oregon for $600

Watch| Nestled in the small town of Rainier, Oregon, the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center's 'Sloth Sanctuary' is the only designated safe haven for the endangered species in all of North America.

They eat, and then sleep sleep sleep, and then eat, and then sleep some more.
Raegan Royale, the sloth keeper.

The Sloth Sanctuary is currently home to both a pregnant sloth, Bianca, and the second oldest captive sloth in the world, 36-year-old Ava. (The oldest captive sloth is 43 years old and lives in Australia) 

Sloths in the wild typically live about 12 to 15 years but in confinement, they can live to their late 30s and early 40s. Many of the sloths at the conservation center were rescued from rainforests in South America and housed in South American research centers. When those captive sloths grow old, they move to their new Oregon home.

Royale says the wildlife center has been part of a sloth rescue effort for nearly 30 years. The center receives calls from logging companies who are preparing to deforest an area. Teams then move in to rescue the endangered animals. 

“It's becoming forest eradication at this point. They're no longer planting trees down there for repopulation, it is planting of cash crops for human consumption," says Royale. 

The sloths love cucumbers (and food in general), but Royale says they only eat as much as they need for the energy they expend. Although the wildlife center's sloth sanctuary has been in existence for nearly three decades, staff decided to open it to the public only four years ago.

Now, not only can you visit the sloths, you can spend the night with them. A night in the warm and humid sanctuary will cost you $600. You may feel a bit hot, but you'll be sleeping in a nice tent pod and watch the sloths at their most active hours. 

A one-hour visit to the center will cost you $100 for a group tour, and $300 for a private visit.

Royale says they didn’t open the Sanctuary to make money, but instead to suppress the high volume of requests to visit the furry animals.

"It was a constant bombardment of people wanting to come see... because sloths are now popular," says Royale. "We got tired of turning people away."

Apparently, the sanctuary has even seen a few proposals from couples who've visited. Guests are able to pet the sloths as long as you give them a treat first. Royale says even though the sloths like their peace and quiet, it’s good for them to experience different smells and interactions from visitors. "It's not about the people. Never has been, never will be. It's about the animals," says Royale. "Having strangers walk in that smell strange, that sound strange on a species that can't see very well and is mostly scent and hearing-based enriches them more than anything."

Royale said that allowing visitors into the sanctuary is the best thing she can do for the sloths. 

The sloths have only one purpose here in Rainier, Oregon: “To live. They come here to live out their glory days," Royale exclaimed. 

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