Most of us remember the excitement of getting to go on a sleepover when we were kids. For most girls the slumber party was a significant rite of passage. You can rediscover the joys of those nights in a whole new way -- by getting to have your sleepover with sloths at the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center (ZWCC) in Rainier, Oregon. It is an experience you will never forget!
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While sloths have the unfortunate reality of sharing their name with one of the seven deadly sins because they are so slow, they are absolutely adorable. That label of being lazy and unproductive is hardly deserved. If it was they wouldn't have survived as a species for so long. Since they are nocturnal it can hard to get to see them in action. So to really get a chance to see them you need to be around at night. Hence the program.
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The ZWCC is not in the business of public entertainment so they are not wide open to visitors in general You must plan your visit well in advance. Only ten people are allowed to visit each day to keep the stress on the animals to a minimum. Each visit is carefully guided as well. The center is busiest mid-June through mid-September
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Special tents are set up in the sloth habitat for the nocturnal guests. This experience does not come cheap. You will need to cough up $600.00 per two-man tent. From this cozy nest you will be able to watch the sloths go through their daily, er, nightly routine. You are there from 8 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. and actual sleeping is optional. Quiet is required (no talking) and you are not allowed to handle the animals.
Image via ZWCC
The center takes in sloths in need, whether rescued from a captive or wild situation. Everything there is geared toward their health and well-being -- from allowing them their 15-18 hours of sleep a day to providing them with the right habitat and nutrition. Sloths are native to South America so their home here is warm and humid. Living in trees is also their thing.
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If this isn't up your alley, you can opt for a short 1-hour educational session about the sloths for just $100. You cannot just wander around and look at the sloths. You must be with a guide at all times. Naturally all of the money collected goes toward the care of the endangered species. The ZWCC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to conservation and rescue..