TODAY

TODAY   |  March 06, 2013

Adorable sloth pays a visit to Studio 1A

In 2010, filmmaker and zoologist Lucy Cooke explored a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica, which inspired a series of viral videos and now a children’s book called “A Little Book of Sloth.” Cooke talks about the book and introduces a sloth named CC.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back now with a fascinating creature, the sloth. zoologist and film maker lucy cook document this had video and it became a hit online.

>> you could say that again. she shares her love of sloths in a new book called "the little book of sloths." and from the staten island zoo , dr. mark walton . good morning to you.

>> hello.

>> lucy , you start this had craze. how did it get started ?

>> with a video really. i am a zoologist, have always been fascinated with their somewhat eccentric biology. i went to visit a sanctuary in coasta rica who just takes sloths. i went to check it out and it was amazing.

>> i get pp puppies, kittens, that sort of thing. what is it about them that you thought i could spend a lot of time with this?

>> they're programmed to hug. i think.

>> i understand they spend 80% of their time resting, which we could all relate to wanting to do.

>> absolutely.

>> people think they're lazy. i'm sorry, cici. that's what people think.

>> people think being slow is acquainted to being stupid or lazy. it's an incredible strategy. it's just one way to survive.

>> one way they spend their energy on is that grip. is this their preferred position she's in right now?

>> the upside down position, yes.

>> does she ever flip over and walk around right side up?

>> occasionally when she's on the floor, she does crawl on her belly.

>> does she make any noises?

>> she doesn't.

>> you've never heard her make a noise?

>> no, just breathing.

>> a couple of odd facts about sloths. you can tell me fact or fiction, all right here? sloths have no odor, no body odor at all. is that true?

>> that's absolutely true. it's part of their stealthy strategy, look and smell like a tree. they have green algae living in the wild. their whole microcosm. they're stealthy and they don't --

>> can savannah smell the sloth?

>> no, no.

>> do a personal test.

>> first i had to find out what this other fact or fiction item. is it true that the sloth only uses the restroom once a week?

>> yes, that is true.

>> goes to the bathroom once a week?

>> once a week but it takes them a whole month just to digest one leaf. they don't need to go that often.

>> you say they are hanging digestion bags.

>> that's basically what they are, nature's couch potato . that's a good thing, very successful strategy.

>> once a week? i go three times a night.

>> i didn't need to know that.

>> ridiculous. that's crazy.

>> thanks for sharing.

>> what about predators? what are their main enemies?

>> the eagle, terrifying looking eagle, massive wing span , giant talons, the size of a grisly bear. they disguise themselves as a tree. their slow movement is thought to be so slow that they go under the radar of the eagle cruising around the tree tops.

>> dr. mark, i see you feeding her carrots, cucumbers. what's the natural thing she wants to eat?

>> natural diet is the leaves from the jungle , the trees they're living in.

>> you say they're native to coasta rica. how are they doing?

>> their numbers aren't really known. there are a couple of species that are known to be endangered, island of dwarf sloths off the coast of panama.

>> you've written this book now. started with the video. now you have the children's book and you get to learn more about these lovely creatures.

>> you have ten seconds left to smell the sloth.

>> our investigation. is he going to bite me?

>> lucy , doctor, thank you very much. what do you think?

>> beautiful. better than you, i should say.

>> still ahead, creative ways to save time and money at the grocery store . but first your local news. > still ahead, creative ways to save time and money at the grocery store . but first your local news.