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Hanging With The Sloth - Reviews

School Library Journal - July 1st, 2007

Hanging with the Sloth. DVD. 30 min. Choices Inc. 2006. ISBN 1-933724-07-2. $49.95.

Gr 6 Up—Did you know that the closest relatives of sloths are anteaters and armadillos, that a sloth's body temperature changes during the day, or that sloths can barely walk on land but are terrific swimmers? All this and a whole lot more can be found in this film which provides a remarkable up-close-and-personal look at the lives of these fascinating mammals. In addition to covering topics such as the different types of sloths, their habitats, and their basic ecology, the program also delves into the threats facing sloths today and conservation efforts being implemented to save them. The last half of the film focuses on the Aviarios Sloth Rescue Center in Costa Rica, where injured and orphaned sloths are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. The story of the heroic efforts of the Rescue Center staff to save these amazing animals is quite poignant. Beautifully filmed and narrated, with information provided by scientists and animal experts, this program will fascinate everyone with an interest in animals.—Tim Maret, Shippensburg University, PA

Video Librarian - January/February 2007

Hanging with the Sloth ***
(2006) 30 min. DVD: $49.95 (downloadable study guide included). Choices, Inc. PPR. ISBN: 1-933724-07-2.

The poor sloth has long been a subject of ridicule and misunderstanding (its name is even one of the Seven Deadly Sins). Found in the rainforest canopies of Central and South America, both the two- and three-fingered sloth—cousin to the armadillo and the anteater—is an amazing, remarkably well-adapted mammal. Yes, the sloth sleeps 18 hours a day, and relieves itself only once a week, but it also has an extra vertebrae in its neck that enables the animal to crane its head around 360 degrees (almost Linda Blair-style) and is four-armed rather than four-legged—making it very agile in trees, but defenseless on the ground. Jeri Ledbetter’s short documentary Hanging with the Sloth serves up an affectionate portrait of the animal, which viewers see in its natural habitat, as well as at a sloth rescue center in Costa Rica, where the animals are fed, rehabilitated from injuries, and reintroduced to the wild. Combining interview clips, on-location footage, and fine nature photography (it’s hard to resist the adorable, smiling, furry face of the sloth), this is recommended. Aud: J, H, P. (E. Gieschen)

Booklist - December 2006

Hanging with the Sloth. 2006. 30min. Choices, DVD, $49.95 (1-933724-07-2). Gr. 5–8.
Most people think of sloths as slow, dim-witted, sleepy creatures—their name denotes indolent habits. This informative program views sloths as uniquely adaptable animals that move gracefully through treetops in rain-forest habitats. With gentle dispositions and sweet faces (wide round eyes and a seemingly smiling mouth), they project a calm demeanor. Filmed in Costa Rica and Panama, the documentary showcases efforts to conserve and preserve this misunderstood species and the rapidly shrinking rain-forest. Attempts to keep sloths in captivity have been largely unsuccessful, and interviewed scientists and veterinarians worry that sloths may become extinct. Crisp nature photography and helpful maps that pinpoint the animals’ range add to the curricular value of the DVD, which also offers access to lesson plans. ––Candace Smith

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