Save Sloths From Selfie-Obsessed Tourists

Target: Ricardo Salles, Minister of Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment

Goal: Stop exploitative practice of sloth selfies.

Once shunned and subject to negative stereotypes, sloths have gained fame among tourists in recent years…to their detriment. In South America, the leisurely animals are often the subject of overenthusiastic picture-taking, in which tourists hold, hug, and use them as makeshift props for selfies. Some unscrupulous entrepreneurs have even made a business out of the sloth selfie trade. These opportunists snatch the animals out of their forest homes and subject them to forced interactions with countless humans.

This onslaught of constant noise and manhandling can significantly traumatize the sloths, impairing their physical and emotional well-being. Eventually, the sloths may not even be able to survive in the wild any longer. The harm can become so substantial that entire organizations are dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating the animals with the goal of eventually reintroducing them to their native habitats.

Sign the petition below to demand one of the world’s main destinations for sloth selfies cracks down on this exploitative, abusive practice.

PETITION LETER:

Dear Minister Salles,

The Brazilian Federal Constitution lays out punishable animal-related offenses as actions that “would risk the animals’ ecological functioning, cause their extinction, or subject animals to cruelty.” While some crimes (such as striking or killing an animal) clearly fall under the umbrella of abuse, other, less considered actions can prove just as damaging. The Brazilian Amazon is ground zero for one under-recognized form of animal cruelty: so-called “sloth selfies.”

These photographing endeavors may serve as cute picture-taking opportunities for tourists, but for the animals targeted, long-term harm can result. Stress from unrelenting noise and frequent handling can and often does damage the sloths’ health. Worse, the stressors may impair the animals’ ability to function in the wild. Entire industries are dedicated to removing sloths from their natural habitats and exploiting them. Likewise, an increasing number of organizations are fighting to reverse the lasting destruction caused by the sloth selfie trade. These rescuers need aid and support from the highest levels of government.

Please advocate for stronger prohibitions and penalties for this under-the-radar, pervasive form of animal cruelty. Protect one of Brazil’s most unique living beings from devastating exploitation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fernando Carniel

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44 Comments

  1. Margaret Kinlaw says:

    Be kind to the animals!’

  2. Jaime Perez says:

    Leave the poor animals alone! Why do humans think it’s ok to hurt and exploit innocent animals?! It’s sickening and reprehensible.

  3. Animal abuse is unacceptable.Legal action must be taken against these vile abusers.

  4. Nena Miller says:

    The people who want these selfies and uneducated assholes. The people who steal an animal’s baby and unconscionable sociopaths, money grubbing creeps

  5. Individuals who come from broken homes generally have no values: it makes no difference to them if someone suffers or not, because what matters to them is to attract attention so as to be popular – unfortunately they don’t know any better!

  6. Poor Sloths, animals are to be respected. This is traumatic and they won’t be able to go home to the jungle !

  7. Denise Devereux says:

    You selfish uneducated idiot. Don’t you know this contact stresses the sloths. MANY ANIMALS DIE FROM STRESS! Is that what you want?
    I don’t think so. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKE and Put your efforts to work saving these and other species that Man is continuing to exterminate by either ignorance but mostly on purpose.
    Governments of the world once you loose your animals you have nothing paying visitors will want to see.

    As for the enablers that allow this God’s Wrath on you. No longer is man doing the culling God is and this time it is MAN.

  8. Stop exploitative practice of sloth selfies.Always the vile and evil human species who deliberately hurt and exploit innocent animals?! This is absolutely sickeningand unforgivale.

  9. I used to travel a lot in the past but I have always been very very kind to animals that I love so so much… Respect them mean not cause any harm but joy… A lot of people that are able to travel are not real travelers so they should learn how to behave… It is so so sad reading these news… Do not forget what happens in SA!!!! Really disgusting! Leave animals in peace!

  10. Snatching sloths from their habitats, so that thoughtless tourist can take just as thoughtless selfies, is an EXTREME ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME, and MUST BE STOPPED.
    This constant noise and manhandling can significantly TRAUMATIZE the sloths and totally DESTROY their well-being. Eventually, the sloths may NOT even be able to SURVIVE in the wild any longer. Your OBLIGATION is to CRACK DOWN on this HORRIFIC and ABUSING practice. ANIMALS are NOT TOYS!!

  11. Leave animals alone. They are not any toy.

  12. Caroline Dinnage says:

    This will put decent tourists off going to Brazil!

  13. No one has the right to enslave, abuse, exploit, or murder any other animal, for any reason.
    You wouldn’t do it to humans, and don’t do it to other animals. It’s that simple.
    “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” – Albus Dumbledore
    Humans are animals and no more special than any other creature.
    #AnimalAbuse #AnimalRights #AdoptDontShop #OptToAdopt

  14. People who use animals as props don’t love animals!

  15. Humans are such a stupid species – when we don’t like a particular animal, we destroy it. When we DO like a particular animal, we STILL end up destroying it, with destructive and selfish nonsense like this. The poor animals can’t win as long as we swarm over the planet like the virus that we truly are.

  16. Let’s PROTECT our sweet, docile SLOTHS — we MUST.

  17. Animals are NOT toys. They need to be left alone. Eliminate zoos. They are nothing but prison’s for people to gawk at an animal that should be running free in it’s own habitat. If we insist that we need animals for viewing pleasure, sanctuaries are the closest thing to the animals real habitat and better for them in the long run. Zoos significantly reduce the lifespan of any wild animal. Is that fair? Is that humane? I think not.

  18. Animals are not entertainment! This is animal abuse/ cruelty! Take action against these people and put them in prison for animal cruelty! No question!
    This has to stop!!

  19. Where are your sources???? To back up your claim by showing if this true and are you veterinarian that knows all about sloth behavior/physiology or the animal’s keeper who may tell you the animal likes the attention. A petition would be better served by making so the sloths must come from zoos and can be only out on display for a few hours, couple times a week.

  20. Stephanie Geyser says:

    Unfortunately, animal abuse is more financially lucrative than animal conservation.

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