If you’ve ever had a chance to hug a sloth, you know how incredible it is.  Ever since we got back from our Caribbean Cruise, we’ve been telling everyone what the highlights were.  And this was one of them!

Roatan.Online provided us with two tickets to Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout in Roatan, Honduras.  To say it was an incredible experience would be an understatement.  All the animals here are rescues.  They were either someones pets, or they were brought to Roatan to be pets, but were never sold.  This place rescues these amazing creatures and gives you the opportunity to play with them.

Seriously, you could play with the monkeys!  Our guide warned us to empty everything out of our pockets before entering the cages. They stick their tiny little hands in every single pocket looking for a treat.  They hop around on your head, and one of them even tried to pull the necklace right off my neck.  (All in good fun!)  I have a love-hate relationship with zoos in that I love animals, but hate to seem them caged.  This was seriously the best.  You got to interact with these animals, you could tell they were well cared for.  The have independence and freedom, and a lot of interaction with people.

The sloths are not caged, but they are fed and cared for by the sanctuary.  They allow the guides to place them on you for a little hug.  They don’t like to be petted, but they will hug you and fall asleep.  Basically, they think you’re a tree, so you have to remain still and pretend you are one.  If you do, they like it.  They’re nocturnal so if you’re there in the day, it’s their nap time anyways. They are not mistrustful of humans.  They have independence to roam around, these are not caged animals.  The sanctuary has 9 sloths, and they rotate them with visitors.  So some have morning duty, and some have afternoon duty.  They are very strict with visitors, which I appreciated.  If someone did anything they told them not to, they would take the sloth back or gently remind you of the rules.

Our guide told us that the sloths are native to Honduras, and they were brought to Roatan to be pets.  When no one wanted them anymore, they ended up here.  They eat leaves, and they apparently love to wrap themselves around and hang on trees!

Seeing the birds up close and personal was wonderful.  They used to be pets, so they don’t mind perching your shoulder or arm and waiting for a seed.  But the guides are constantly reminding everyone to be respectful and to understand that some of these animals were not well treated by humans, so we need to treat them well.  They also have some raccoons, spider monkeys and other animals.

If you travel to this area, you have to visit this place!  It was incredible.

Nina Thomas

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