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Final Gravity

'A Sloth Named Velcro'
(DVD / NR / 2015 / PBS)

Overview: In 2000, Ana Salceda, a young Spanish print and television journalist, moved from her native Spain to explore the wilds of Panama, but couldn't have predicted the turn her life would take when she became the caregiver for a tiny orphaned baby sloth, which she named Velcro.

DVD Verdict: This delightful PBS Nature episode then expands into a general exploration of sloths and sloth culture — which, admit it, is something you might not explore on your own. It actually turns out sloths are evolutionary oddballs. Their only defense against predators who enjoy fillet of sloth is the claws with which they climb trees. Three-toed sloths apparently aren’t much better equipped for battle, or climbing, than the two-toed variety.

They also subsist on leaves, which are described here as “nature’s junk food.” So they have to eat a lot of leaves, which don’t give them much energy, which is why they rest a lot. But it also means they spend a lot of time climbing to find those leaves. They do much of this foraging at night, so they rest during the day, which accounts for at least some of their slothful reputation.

It also turns out sloths are rather soft and gentle. When Salceda became a surrogate mother, her sloth spent the next year wrapped halfway around her, which is where Velcro came from. So come on this fun journey with Velcro and Ana in 'A Sloth Named Velcro' as it tells the story of Salceda's return to Central and South America to see how much has changed since Velcro came into her life. It also enables her to document current sloth conservation efforts, of course, which is a rather nice touch given the subject matter. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





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