Are Sloths Dangerous? Know All About Their Behavior Towards Humans! | Kidadl

FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS

Are Sloths Dangerous? Know All About Their Behavior Towards Humans!

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

There are two species of sloth: the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth

Two-toed sloths are nearly extinct and are mainly nocturnal, and while the three-toed sloths are mostly nocturnal as well, they can also be seen moving around during the day. Unlike the two-toed sloth, whose limbs are all the same, a three-toed sloth has arms longer than its legs. 

Contrary to what some people believe, sloths do not make ideal pets, they are dangerous and inhospitable in human homes. These mammals have a deceiving appearance, they are not cuddly like we make them out to be. This is for multiple reasons, the first being that it is just not feasible to contain this wild animal in an environment it is not meant for. Sloths are generally pleasant and solitary creatures, but only when they are not bothered in any way. A sloth does not like to be touched even in the slightest manner, we may just skim a finger and they are capable of biting off this very finger with their pointy teeth. Their long and sturdy claws only become tougher with every second they spend using them to support their bodies on trees. The world of a sloth moves a lot slower than ours, every bit of it is relaxedly paced. This means that a sloth's bodily activities also happen at an exhausting speed, which is sometimes harming as in the case of pooping, for it is more than often constipated because of defecating only once a week. While a sloth's fur is no less than a hospitable society to everything unhygienic for humans, whether it be fungi or insects, these mammals also carry on them a virus that makes humans sick, but it is not strong enough to kill someone.

Fun fact, every time that a sloth moves to the ground to poop, which is only once a week because of slow metabolism which also results in constipation, it puts itself in great danger of being hunted by the predators it camouflages from on trees.

A sloth's underestimated nature often makes humans question how this wild animal survives the wildlife. Sloths have what it takes to defend themselves in combat against threats. With razor-sharp teeth and dagger-like claws, these wild animals are capable of tearing through the skin of their predators as counter-attacks, or even stinging humans if distressed. They lack speed, and it is this slow movement that camouflages them from lurking predators, for they appear so still as to blend in with the background. Sloths, however slow, can move fast as and when need be.

Thus, a sloth is skillful at self-defense. Discover more about these tree-bound animals in this article! If you enjoy this article, why not check out sloth facts, and are pandas marsupials!

How dangerous are sloths?

Sloths can be fairly dangerous. It is best recommended to not go prodding these wild animals, for they will prod back.

Like most other wild animals, sloths are harmless from afar. They maintain distance as long as humans stay in bounds too. Sloths are also characterized by their heightened sense of smell, as these animals are strongly olfactory. Even the slightest of touches or an uncomfortable smell will greatly distress a sloth, and in response, the sloth will retaliate with its claws and teeth. Sloths are perfectly able of puncturing a see-through hole in the skin of whatever ticks off their irritable bodies. While we relate a sloth to extremely slow speed and lazy ways, it is important to recognize this animal for the strength of its muscles, which is three times more than that of an average person. Sloths can pound on humans with their heavy mass if they perceive the urgency to do so.

Thus, it is advised to always keep a safe distance from these animals not just for our safety, but to assure them no harm as well.

Will sloths attack humans?

Sloths will attack anyone and anything that poses a threat to them, and this might also include humans.

Sloths are peaceful creatures when left alone. They like having their own space, for it ensures them their own safety. Humans tend to have things that greatly irritate sloths, like lotion and fragrances, which explains why touching them is not always a great idea. We may only approach a sloth with good intentions, like wanting to express affection, which is honestly not a clever idea, but this animal might just misinterpret it for improper invading of their personal bubble and perceive potential to harm. Sloths will defend themselves against a human by attacking if it deems so necessary, and it may even mean clawing at or biting a person.

Sloths are usually found alone.

Why are two-toed sloths dangerous?

The claws of this fur-clothed, tree-residing wild species are definitely dangerous. It is, after all, a weapon of defense for a sloth.

Like every kind of sloth, the two-toed sloth does not respond well to being bothered. These wild sloths are easily and highly stressed. Not only do they express their displeasure by snorting and hissing at the source of their hostility, but they will also not hesitate to use their long and dagger-like claws to slash and strike at whatever body has distressed them. It is always better to leave these sloths undisturbed. Their claws are sharpened and spiky from all that time they spend hanging upside-down on trees, and they do this a lot, so one can only imagine how much of a mark inked in blood sloths can leave on skin.

Hence, we must steer clear of a two-toed sloth when it comes to invading its personal space.

Why you shouldn't hold a sloth?

Holding or touching a sloth is not always a smart idea. As threatening as sloths can be to humans when stressed, humans can be just as bad, maybe even worse.

A sloth is used to moving at its own speed, which is very slow. We, though, cannot live life in slow motion as these wild creatures do. So, when we hold them, we move about at our own pace, which is never safe for a sloth. They experience serious stress when touched by a human, for it is harmful to their bodies since a person's body houses irritable and endangering things like chemical lotions and bacteria. Your loud speech, or noise of an unbearable volume, will stress a sloth further, making it more uncomfortable than it already is. It has been found that if a sloth is put under too much stress or discomfort, it is capable of losing its baby in the belly itself. Humans are bigger, way bigger than sloths, at least, even if the latter is stronger, they are still slower. It takes them time to defend themselves, and they will feel the need to do so even if you do not mean to make them feel intimidated.

This wild creature will always feel on edge because of your taller build, faster pace, and intolerable pitch, so it is best to not do anything to make it feel threatened.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are sloths dangerous, then why not take a look at what is the smallest animal in the world, or what is Doberman tail docking.

Written By
Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?