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

    • Exactly. My hope is that someday ALL human beings learn how to treat animals like they deserve to be treated. They are living breathing beings. They have feelings and experience pain just like WE do! Stop abusing animals. Grow up, learn, how to be a good and decent person.

  1. Dear Minister Salles:
    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. Thank you!

  2. Julia Edinger says:

    Be kind to precious animals!!! Stop mishandling these animals asap!!!
    They do not deserve the distress it causes!!!

  3. Harsh penalties for people that exploit sloths need to be in place

  4. Robbin Souer says:

    Please save the sloths.

  5. Dale Mellis says:

    Sloths are shy creatures and should not be exploited by idiotic morons. Punishment should be put in place for those who ignore the warnings.

    • Idiotic morons = tourists (& most others) who travel near & far from their homes or go anywhere, leave their brains at home. There are excellent documentaries about almost anything in nature – stay home & watch them in the comfort of your own home since you can’t behave in public!

  6. Stop exploiting sloths. How would you like to be constantly prodded? All for greed and probably with little regard for the well being of these creatures.

    Penalties/fines need to be handed out….

  7. Wild and exotic animals belong in the wild – in their own natural habitats. Thet should not be kidnapped from their environments. They are not used to people hokding them . . . We must stop exploiting all animals for our selfish reasons.

  8. Jon Lenchner says:

    Animals are not on this earth for our mindless amusement and exploitation. End all Abuse and Cruelty, NOW!

  9. Why don’t these sick ass people get a brain and leave these poor little animal’s ALONE? 🤬🤬🤬

  10. Sherry Goodyear says:

    Yeah I’m sure. This from the country trying to burn down the entire Amazon rain forest.

  11. Look at these gorgeous animals but do NOT TOUCH AND HOLD!!!!!

  12. Patricia Rivera says:

    These are animals not toys. Stop treating animals as something other than animals and regard their biological needs, behavioral habits and natural history.

  13. Michelle Stewart says:

    Leave them alone. It must be made illegal to be around them or to touch them

  14. Shirley Lemieux says:

    Putting an animal at risk of harm or stress or even transmitted diseases from human to animal should be banned. It’s one thing to snap a photo of an animal in the wild but having selfies taken for profit is another issue that leads to these animals being captured and caged and other forms of harm.

  15. UGLY HUMANS–YOU ARE ALREADY UGLY–DO NOT SUFFER THESE TRAUMATIZED PRECIOUS ANIMALS MORE–THEY NEED TO GET BACK I THE FOREST.

  16. All animals deserve compassion.

  17. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    Please PROTECT ALL WILDLIFE from tourist operations! They need to be in their forest homes, which you MUST PROTECT AND PRESERVE from logging, mining and agricultural operations. Do you not understand that the AMAZON RAINFOREST IS IRREPLACEABLE? Do you not know that its unique plants are sources of natural medicines? STOP NOW.

  18. The only way the earth and its animals will survive is if the
    whole human race becomes extinct!

  19. American Girl says:

    I’d love to help humanity, it’s just the humans I can’t stand!

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