The sloth became a new national symbol of Costa Rica on Tuesday, the fourth of the Costa Rican fauna after the yigüirro, the white-tailed deer and the manatee, as part of the efforts to protect the species and its habitat.
The Costa Rican president, Carlos Alvarado, signed this past Tuesday the law approved last July by Congress, which establishes the sloth as a new national symbol and whose purpose is to collaborate with the protection of the populations of this animal that inhabits almost all over the country. “I celebrate the new national symbol: the sloth, the friendly and peaceful animal that is an international benchmark for animal protection,” said Alvarado.
The signing took place in the Biological Reserve of the Bicentennial of the Pájaro Campana Republic, in the south of the country, within the framework of National Parks Day, and was attended by President Alvarado, the Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza , already a deputy who promoted the initiative, Yorleny León.
Commitment to sustainable development
“The signing of this law within the framework of such a Costa Rican celebration, reaffirms the commitment our country assumed for decades with sustainable development, and sends a clear message to our society and the entire world, that our social pact with the environment It is not reduced to the simple protection of large areas of land, but also shelters the species that live there,” said deputy León.
The law instructs the Ministry of Environment and Energy to coordinate with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport the regulation of speed limits of the different means of transport in the vicinity of sites duly identified as sensitive for the free movement of sloths; both around protected areas and outside of them.
Educational and awareness programs
In addition, the Ministry of Public Education will include the protection of the sloth and its natural habitat in its educational and awareness programs. Other government institutions, non-governmental organizations, public and private companies may also develop initiatives that promote the conservation of sloths and their habitat. The law also establishes that the Costa Rican Tourism Institute may use the image of the sloth for its advertising campaigns, locally and internationally.
Two species of sloth live in Costa Rica: the two-toed (Choleopus Hoffman) and the three-toed (Barypus Variegatus), and their name comes from their slow movements that also carry over to their metabolism. For example, the sloth takes days to process food in its four-chamber stomach and defecates only once a week.
The adorable appearance of this animal has been gaining the sympathy of thousands of people in Costa Rica and abroad, which has motivated the Costa Rican Tourism Institute to include it as one of the stars of the commercials promoting the Costa Rican destination and to awareness campaigns on the protection of biodiversity.