A ZOO is running a race – for sloths.
Drusillas Park in Alfriston hopes to raise money for a sloth conservation charity by holding a “virtual race”, where participants can sign up and run on their own.
The idea is to limit interaction amid the coronavirus pandemic – which has scuppered many of the zoo’s charity fundraising events this year.
Cassie Poland from Drusillas said: “We are so excited to be hosting our first-ever virtual race.
“We were so disappointed to have not been able to host any of our planned fundraising events this year due to coronavirus.
“So, we are really hopeful people will jump on board and take part in this amazing race for sloth conservation.
“Even if you only do the smallest distance you will still be making the biggest difference to sloths in the wild.”
Participants can choose to “run, walk, cycle, toddle, scoot or wheel” 2.5k, 5k or 10k between October 5 and October 11 to raise money for the Sloth Conservation Foundation. They can cover the distance in a single day or spread it out over a week – and because the race is virtual, it can be completed anywhere.
Drusillas has been working with the The Sloth Conservation Foundation to help it protect sloths in the wild through conservation schemes and scientific research. The charity, based in Costa Rica, was set up by Dr Rebecca Cliffe, one of the world’s leading sloth experts.
She said: “Sloth populations are in decline throughout South and Central America as they struggle to adapt to the urbanisation of the rainforest. Saving the world’s slowest mammal from extinction now requires innovative and long-term conservation solutions that target both human and sloth populations.
“One person at a time, one day at a time, and one project at a time, we all have the ability to make a serious difference that will leave a lasting impact on the world.
“We are at serious risks of pushing our sloth species to extinction, it is heart-breaking to see the impact we are having on these amazing creatures.”
For information visit www.slothconservation.com.
There are 250 places available and entries will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To take part, send you name, email address, proposed distance, and a summary of you plan to complete the race to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is noon on October 2.