The Best Animal Experience Ever: Feeding and Petting Lemurs and Sloths

Sloth loves potatoes!

Hanging sloths love eating potatoes

Another bucket list item checked off; I got to feed and pet my favorite animal – a ring-tailed lemur. And sloths. And baby wolf cubs. And a colobus. What’s a colobus you ask? Keep reading and you’ll find out.

As Yaicha’s birthday was creeping on up in the horizon, I needed something that would be so epic that she would forget all her worries for at least a couple hours. My friend, Sarah, told me of a little conservation center in Rainier, Oregon where there are sloths you could pet and feed. Now, if you know Yaicha, you’d know that she loves sloths almost as much as Kristen Bell, so I knew I had to let her experience this place. It took a huge proportion of restraint to keep it a surprise, but it was worth it.

The drive was a meager 45 minutes from Portland, so we got there a little early and ended up hanging out with some owl monkeys and an adorable & rambunctious howler monkey named Farrah. Yaicha had no idea what we were doing there and was stunned when she saw the primates. As we waited for another couple to arrive, we had a long conversation around the animals and I let slip that there were sloths waiting to be fed. Yaicha might have cried a little when she heard this news. Once the couple arrived, we started the tour around the conserve which included feeding black & white ruffed lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs and porcupines in one area. There was even a baby lemur clinging to its mother’s belly, which was probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

We passed by a bobcat with dread locks on the way to the colobus monkeys, which are some of the most interesting mammals I’ve ever encountered. After a lesson on how to groom them, we each got a small one-on-one session with one of the more social monkeys of the group. He was really nice and I’m pretty sure he had a crush on Lorien. From there we arrived to what Yaicha was waiting for – the sloth room. It took a few minutes for the sloths to wake up, but once they did, they were happy to hanging out with us. It was amazing to see animals like this so close. We got to see so many more animals, that it was a surreal experience I can’t sum up without going on and on in this blog. Check out my whole photo album of the experience and if you want more information about  Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center, you can find them on Facebook and Yelp.

I hope you enjoy the pictures!