One day, a member of the Costa Rican Jaguar Rescue Center team was on the beach investigating a tip about an injured animal.
He was about to go back to the center when, over the sound of the waves, he heard a baby wailing and then noticed the infant sloth on the sand.
“He heard the cry and immediately recognized it was a baby sloth (their cry is like a whistle),” Noelia, a staff member at Jaguar Rescue Center, told The Dodo.
“He saw the mom on the tree, but she was climbing back to the top. We believe the baby fell from his mom, and he cried to attract her, but because of the noise at the beach, she probably didn’t hear him.”
The Jaguar Rescue Center staff examined the little sloth to ensure he wasn’t hurt in the fall.
He appeared healthy, albeit a little lethargic, so they gave him some water and some rest time. Based on his size, they concluded that he was only a few weeks old, and they started working on a plan to get him back with his mother.
They began by recording the newborn sloth’s cries before returning to the beach with a speaker.
They played the baby’s cry as they waited for the mother sloth to notice and begin to descend the tree. They returned the infant to the beach too for the reunion.
After nearly two hours of waiting at the base of the tree with the baby sloth, his mother finally got close enough to him to take him back. Everyone around was moved to tears by the touching reunion.
Here’s a video of the heartwarming encounter:
“When she grabbed him, we [could] tell she missed her baby so much and was grateful to have him back,” Noelia said.
“It was an emotional moment for all of us, and we hope this mom and baby [do] stay safe. It melts our hearts every time we can witness the reunion of a mom and her baby.
It seemed as though the mother sloth had no idea her youngster had fallen, but thanks to the clever thinking of the rescuers, the pair are now reunited!