The other day, the volunteers at Jaguar Rescue Center (JRC) received an alarming call from a concerned beachgoer. Amidst the lush vegetation surrounding Costa Rica’s Playa Negra lay a baby three-fingered sloth, who’d seemingly fallen from one of the tall trees.
The little guy could barely move. And his mom, too scared to climb down, had no way of retrieving her baby. Thankfully, JRC knew just how to help the separated duo.
Before attempting to reunite them, the team took the baby to their veterinary clinic. They needed to make sure he wasn’t injured or sick.
“Luckily, the baby was perfectly healthy and ready to go back to [his] mom,” JCR wrote on Facebook.
The volunteers returned to the beach the next day and headed straight to the spot where they’d found the baby sloth. They glanced up at the trees and, before long, located his mom above.
She was too far away to smell her baby, and the rescuers knew that she wouldn’t be able to identify him by sight from up there. So, they had to rely on the only sense they knew could reach her: sound.
The team whipped out a loudspeaker and played a recording of the baby’s cry, taken at their clinic after his checkup.
The tactic, which they call their “Speaker Method,” has helped them reunite many other wild babies with their moms in the past. They waited with bated breath, hoping this rescue would be the same.
Just as they’d anticipated, the doting mom responded to the sound of her baby’s cry instantly. After an agonizing night apart, the mom quickly started making her way down to him.
“She started descending from the tree, eager to reunite,” JRC wrote.
When she was finally close enough, the mom extended her arm with uncharacteristic speed and excitedly grabbed the little one out of a JRC rescuer’s grasp.
The team watched as she pulled her baby in for a tight, gratifying hug. They were relieved to see him back in her arms, where he belonged.
Both mom and baby were just as ecstatic.
“When the baby got a sniff of [his] mom, [he] dashed straight for some munchies, which was totally unexpected but so heartwarming!” JRC wrote.