Sloths are known for pretty much one thing, and that’s, well, their slothfulness.
Okay, it’s not that they’re actually lazy. Instead, these mild-mannered animals of the jungle simply can’t move fast. They just enjoy taking life slowly. That means lots of sleeping, eating, and crawling slowly around the trees.
Unfortunately, with modern technology, that also means they can end up in dangerous situations.
For a sloth, winding up in the middle of a road can mean being unable to move out of the way in time to miss the traffic. In countries that have high sloth populations, it’s not at all uncommon to see one of these animals trying to cross a busy road. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to move quickly, which means they either cause a traffic holdup or, even worse, get hit.
One video captured a rescue mission for a sloth that was meandering slowly across a road in Brazil.
As Jose Aldenizio, 50, was passing, he spotted a sloth moving languidly through traffic on the road in Angra dos Reis in Rio de Janeiro. It was one of the busiest times of the day, with cars flying by. Aldenizio didn’t want to see the happy little animal experience some kind of mishap, so he stepped out into traffic to help.
To help the little guy out, Aldenizio gently picked it up and carried it to a tree on the side of the road.
To the sloth, it must have seemed like he was moving as fast as a bullet train.
The most amazing thing was that when Aldenizio placed him in a tree, the sloth turned around, gave a small smile, and then gently reached out one clawed hand in a gesture of thanks. Animals can communicate much better than we think they can!
It was an amazing gesture for an animal who can’t communicate like humans.
The video has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Everyone loves the sweet little sloth who was willing to let himself fly over the road in the arms of a stranger, and the good Samaritan who gave him a lift.
The video was posted by Aldenizio’s daughter Gabrielle Araujo, 21. In an interesting turn of events, Araujo is studying to become a veterinarian.
“In the midst of all the chaos in the world, a simple gesture of helping an animal can move people,” said Araujo.
It was a simple gesture that meant a lot — not just to the sloth whose life was saved, but to everyone who witnessed Aldenizio take the time to stop traffic and lend a hand.
“I, as a student of veterinary medicine, have a pride in my father and his care for animals, and for being able to show people that sentient animals which convey feelings and emotions deserve all our respect and right to life with dignity,” said Araujo.
It may have been a small gesture, but it’s wonderful to see the kind of compassion that Aldenizio displayed toward a helpless animal.
And judging by the thankful gesture he was given, the sloth appreciated it, too.
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