ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0130.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: brown-throated sloth; human-animal interactions; questionnaire; urban wildlife; Bradypus variegatus
Online: 8 May 2018 (10:53:37 CEST)
Free-range sloths living in an urban environment is rare. In this study, human opinions, attitudes and interactions with a population of Bradypus variegatus in a public square were investigated. A questionnaire was applied to people in the square where the sloths reside, and informal, opportunistic observations of human-sloth interactions were made. 95% of respondents knew of the sloths’ existence in the square and 87.8% likes their presence. Opinions about population size differed greatly and younger people were concerned if the square was appropriate place for them. Some human-sloth interactions showed the consequence of lack of biological knowledge. People initiated all sloth-human interactions. The fact that sloths are strictly folivorous has limited their interactions with humans and consequently minimised negative impact of the human-animal interaction on their wellbeing. These results demonstrate that while there is a harmonious relationship between people and sloths, actions in environmental education of the square’s public could be beneficial for the sloths.