By Janet Tappin Coelho
This is the adorable moment a sloth waves goodbye to her rescuers in what appears to be a gesture of thanks.
Animal rangers in Brazil were returning the slow-mo creature to the wild when she stopped a few metres up a tree to show her appreciation.
Plantoon supervisor Adilson Santana de Lima of Sao Vicente’s municipal guard environmental team said: “It was a real surprise when she interrupted her climb and put out one arm as if she was waving goodbye. I waved back and said ‘bye beautiful’ and then she even turned to my colleague and continued the gesture.”
The lethargic mammal, which normally spends most of its time hanging upside down in trees in the tropical rainforests of South America, was found on city streets in Sao Vicente, south east Brazil, in December last year.
She was rescued from a tree trunk near tramline tracks after animal wardens feared she risked being hit or injured by the light rail vehicles passing by.
“We took the animla to the Voturua Ecological Park for vets to check her over and assess the state of her health,” explained Lima.
“She stayed there for two months during which she was fitted with an identification chip, had a series of blood tests done, had parasites and ticks removed and was generally looked after to ensure she would be fit enough to return to the wild.”
At the end of February (21) as animal rangers videoed the creature’s release back into her natural habitat, the sloth stopped, turned back and waved goodbye.
Lima said: “The feeling of returning a sloth to the wild is priceless and a sense of accomplishment because they are vulnerable creatures that don’t have the capacity to react quickly to danger.
“This moment where she appeared to show her gratitude, was one to treasure,” he added.