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Among the sloths under Pool’s care is Smokey, a female sloth who was found wounded by the group. Smokey has since then proved to be an obedient member of the group as she would allow other sloths to be around her without being hostile.
Moments like that make Pool realize how blessed she is to have an experience like this.
“Spending a night with around 30 animals in the holding cage and all 20 kennels filled with animals waiting to be transported to their new forest was a very special experience,” Pool wrote in an e-mail sent to TODAY.com.
She Became “Slothified”
Visitors can literally find sloths hanging around in Pool’s home. As her sloth family grew, so did her knowledge on these wild animals.
“I didn’t know anything about sloths, but I learned a lot,” Pool told CNN. “Now when sloths are injured or in trouble, all the telephone calls come to us. The police, the fire brigade—even the zoo calls me.”
“Some people refer to me as ‘The Sloth Lady.’ I think it’s an honor,” she adds.
In addition to the sloths, Pool has rescued other wild animals as well, including a number of armadillos, anteaters, porcupines, and even dolphins. All in all, the organization has rehabilitated and released over 600 animals back to their natural habitat.
Rebecca Field of Conservation International witnessed firsthand the effort Pool personally puts in when rescuing this animals.
“There were about 20 baby three-toed sloths hanging in the trees in her backyard, about a dozen more adults and babies hanging in her living room, and several others dispersed around her home and yard,” she narrated in a blog post. “She had a constant flow of volunteers in her living room, feeding the babies goat milk out of eye droppers.”
Field also saw for herself how the team released the sloths back to the wild. “The energy of the whole release was infectious,” Field added. “Watching them grab onto the trees and scurry up into their canopy homes was truly touching.”
Pool holds the term “slothified” to heart, but she does not feel overwhelmed by the numbers anymore. Along with her the Green Heritage Fund Suriname, she works to not only save animals but also their home in the Guiana Shield, a region that includes Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname (previously Dutch Guiana), and French Guiana (or Guyane), as well as parts of Colombia and Brazil. It has one of the highest level of biodiversity in the world including a large population of these sloths. Illegal logging has threatened this natural wonder over the years and several conservation groups have been rushing to preserve it.
While Monique Pool does enjoy taking care of the animals in her own home, she and the Green Heritage Fund Suriname are looking to expand their sanctuary to create a more spacious area for them in the future.