Sleepover with sloths for a quiet night in at this animal rescue center in Oregon
The best sleepovers usually include a rowdy mix of movies, junk food, and gossip, but an animal rescue center in Rainier, Oregon is offering a uniquely fun (though way more quiet) alternative. Located just north of Portland, the Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center has Sloth Sleepovers, allowing visitors to snuggle in for a night surrounded by the famously slow-moving and adorable creatures.
Up to eight guests each night arrive to the center at 8 pm — just in time for the animals’ most active time of day — and join the sloths inside their ambassador colony habitat. The $600 price tag buys a double occupancy tent, a one hour Q&A session with one of the center’s staff members, and an “I Slept with a Sloth” t-shirt. Of the hundreds of sloths presently housed at the center, only 32 seek out interaction with strangers, so this friendly bunch are among the sleepover hosts.
Attendees can get an up-close look at the sloths natural behaviors, and have a chance to feed them healthy treats before departing at 7:30 am with memories of their epic night. Photos are allowed, but no video, and other strict rules apply. Since sloths are sensitive creatures, there’s no talking above a whisper, and no perfume, alcohol, or other strong odors. Guests under ten years old aren’t allowed (due to federal and state laws) and anyone under 16 has to be accompanied by an adult.
The Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center is a tiny, highly specialized facility that focuses on education and the protection of endangered and delicate species. “We are a captive conservation center first and foremost and not a ‘for public entertainment’ zoo,” a representative told Lonely Planet. While there’s no gift shop or concession stand, the money raised from sloth sleepovers will help fund a museum lobby, with educational programs and displayed artifacts, like a Pacific Northwest species of the extinct giant ground sloth skeleton, according to the spokesperson.
If you can’t commit to a sleepover, for $100, the center also offers 40 minute educational sessions, giving visitors the opportunity to feed and gently pet a few sloths.
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