A Close Call…

01 Nov

Since giving birth to baby Jo-Jo, Madonna hasn’t moved from her favorite tree – this has made my job very easy! It doesn’t take me very long to locate her on my daily visits to the jungle. On one of these visits, I had a hair-raising moment. Having reached the base of Madonna’s tree, before I even had the chance to look upwards, I heard a terrifying crashing noise. Without a second thought my instincts kicked in and I began to run. Honestly I didn’t have a clue what I was running from, but I was running anyway! I only stopped when I heard a sickening thud; a thud that I have heard all too many times. This was the kind of thudding noise a sloth makes as it hits the ground.

Baby Jo-Jo and Madonna


I spun around and to my horror, I immediately saw what I was fearing. It was Madonna and Jo-Jo. The branch she had been holding had broken and they had fallen about 30 ft, landing exactly where I had been standing 2 seconds earlier. Either Madonna was trying to get rid of me or she just has terrible timing.

For what seemed like an eternity everything was still. I was rooted to the spot. It took me about a minute to realize I wasn’t even breathing. Finally I saw some movement and to my relief it was Jo-Jo. She had landed about a foot from Madonna and was making her way over to mom. As fast as I could I whipped out my camera and began to film what was happening. Jo-Jo safely climbed back onto Madonna’s side and she began making her way towards the base of the tree.

Baby Jo-Jo clinging onto Madonna


It was only when she started to climb upwards that I suddenly realized something very frustrating. It quickly dawned on me that this was the perfect opportunity for me to replace her Backpack and collect the existing data. Well…. it would have been perfect if I had remembered to bring the right equipment. I had to stand and watch her and Jo-Jo climb up and out of reach, I have never kicked myself harder. It’s safe to say I have learned this lesson the hard way and now bring everything I could possibly need with me on every trip into the rainforest.

After their fall, thankfully Madonna and Jo-Jo both seem to be doing fine. I think the whole ordeal terrified me more than them.


Madonna climbing back up her favorite (tagged) tree



Posted in: Sloths
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