ISV Costa Rica Sloth Photo Bomb Goes Viral in the Media!

by Narelle Webber on Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sloth story blog, Jackueline UK office

Sloth story goes viral! (c) used with permission by Amy O'Gara

Known as “photo bombing”, this little sloth bombed an ISV group shot taken during a conservation volunteer program in Costa Rica. The photo was only noticed by a newspaper this year and it has now gone around the world making headlines in publications that include the UK’s Metro, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Star, The Mirror and The Express. In the USA the ABC news and NY daily news featured our furry little friend, as did the Today Show in Australia.

Just how did this little creature create such a fuss? Here’s the story ….

On May 28th, 2008 the ISV group was on a conservation volunteer project at Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve on the Caribbean mountains of Costa Rica. The Reserve is world famous for its observation of migratory birds of prey. Additionally, ornithologists have a research program for catching birds travelling in the understory with mistnets.

This particular day the group was working to improve the trails by clearing between the mistnetting stations in the forest. Sebastian (the Biological Station Manager and indigenous leader) noticed something had fallen from the trees. To their immense surprise, it was a juvenile two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni)! Sebastian returned the sloth to the trees while Malo (ISV Project Leader Manuel Ramirez) climbed a tree himself to get a good shot!

Sloth story Blog, Manuel Ramirez

THE PHOTO BOMB! (c) used with permission by Manuel Ramirez

Malo’s recount …

“I borrowed a camera and hurried to get higher than the animal.  I tried to take several pictures focusing on the ISV group as they were approached, and when some of the volunteers where searching for me amongst the leaves the little sloth turned to see the camera and I GOT THE SHOT! It was truly an unforgettable experience shared in Kekoldi and while we remember all the trips to the waterfall and the beach, the games we played at night in the “tree house”, and the great hospitality of the Kekoldis ….. the sloth is something we’ll never ever forget!”

To learn more about ISV’s volunteer programs in Costa Rica visit


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