Daniel Johnsons Sloth and Monkey Sanctuary!
We are not usually the sort of people to agree with hands on animal encounters unless they’re from a safe distance and in the wild.
We were hesitant at first about visiting “Daniel Johnsons Monkey and Sloth sanctuary”‘ as holding a wild animal whether it be a sloth, monkey or a “life changing dolphin experience” usually means they’re either caged, tied up, have been de-toothed or de-clawed and generally treated very badly……………
“Daniel Johnsons Monkey and Sloth” sanctuary is the complete opposite!
How to get there:
The sanctuary is in French Cay, a short taxi drive from Coxen Hole or the airport.
There’s only one main road in Roatan so as long as you’re going East you’re headed in the right direction, getting lost is pretty impossible if you’re driving yourself, after a ten minute drive from Coxen Hole you’ll take a sharp right turn down a small dirt road, drive on for 2 minutes and on your left hand side you’ll see ‘Sid the sloth’ holding the Daniel Johnsons sign!
Entry Fee: $10 inclusive of a informative Guided Tour explaining how and why the sanctuary started and the back story of some of the animals !
If you stay at ‘Roatans Backpacker Hostel’ you receive 10% off.
The majority of the animals at ‘Daniel Johnsons Monkey and Sloth hang out’ have been rescued from the illegal pet trade and with no hope of being returned to the wild they are a given very comfortable living here.
The sanctuary holds an assortment of White Faced Capuchin (or ‘Marsel’ as everyone kept referring, to Ross’ monkey from the hit US comedy F.R.I.E.N.D.S), a large group of Sloths, Scarlet and Military Macaws, Green parrots, and Spider monkeys all which have been rescued.
White faced Capuchins are social monkeys and live in large family groups where they can pass down skills such as cracking nuts with rocks
The Sloths will never be kept in another cage in their life once they’ve been rescued with free run of the surrounding mangroves and trees, and a limit on 15 hugs a day per animal, they can’t really get a better life in captivity!
The White Faced Capuchin are also given free run of the mangroves, only called back into the cages for human encounters because the little fuckers raid your pockets, pull out earrings and try to steal anything that isn’t biologically attached to your body….
The only animals kept in cages full time are the birds (for obvious reason) and the Spider monkeys who can be aggressive towards each other and humans.
And the reason why you are reading this blog………
Snuggle with a Sloth
The sloths are each limited to 15 hugs a day and a great deal of care is taken in the process of hugging a sloth. Ours, ironically, was called ‘Sid’…… not sure how they came up with that name…..
Each sloth has two handlers, one holds the arms and one cups their little bums as they pass it onto you. They ask you to cup your hands, ready to await their little bum, they then place one of the sloths arms on each shoulder. Their three long claws clasp your shoulders and they snuggle in……… Life complete. The sloths hair is thick and wired like whiskers and they have a smell to them that can only be described as a ‘slothy smell’.
Three Toed Sloths have a species of moth and algae that grow on their back, this is the only place in the world you can find this species of Moth and algae
A Male sloth differs from a Female sloth by the yellow markings on their back.
They have 12 sloths, including two babies, dotted around the property. All sleeping up in the surrounding mangroves. Unfortunately as we were taking a few snaps of a mother sloth and her young, one cheeky Macaque monkey tried stealing the youngen right from it’s mothers arms….. as you can imagine the reaction time of the sloth in question was no “reaction of a cat”, more like a…… well…. a sloths.
The baby was fine as a handler swiftly came over and hushed the monkey off of the baby sloth!