Day 9 - An extremely eventful day

Trip Start Jan 10, 2013
Trip End Jun 06, 2013

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Limon,
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

So today I had a pretty eventful day. Firstly I got to take Matteo out today for baby time. It was just like old times, except today be was being an absolute angel. Yes he kept trying to eat dirt but he was actually allowing me to redirect him without trying to bite my hand off. I think he's enjoying the attention at the moment! Snickers has also managed to claim another victim to he's list of people he's bitten. Today it was Nicks turn and he managed to get him on the leg as he was trying to stop him from going down to eat dirt. There's a reason his nickname is El Diablo/The Terror of Cahuita. I managed to sneak a small hug with Linus during breakfast as well, Claire needed me to hold him while she was cleaning out Snickers and Linus's joint (but separated but a wall) cage. I wasn't exactly going to complain.

My second eventful part of the day was my extremely busy lunch break. I knew I was going to be bathing machete sloth but ended up helping Marcelo for nearly the whole of my 3 hour break. Unlike usual I didn't even feel starving but was so distracted by how interesting it was. Actually to be fair large parts of it was fairly disgusting. Honestly if you're squeamish stop reading now.

So first up we have machete sloth. She came in with her ear macheted off and she has this weird skin thing on both hands and one of her feet. I thought her hands had been skinned but Marcelo told me he thought she had some kind of kidney infection and so the skin had started to deteriorate because of it. She's had her hands in bandages for a few days but when I saw it before it looked, well skinned, but healthy. Two of the claws on one of her hands were black and so I already thought there was something wrong with this hand. I thought maybe the claws were dead but oh my god. When Marcelo took the bandage off it was like her skin over most of her entire pad was stripped away. Marcelo had to cut off the two claws and you could see two ENTIRE bones. Think of it like having two completely skinned fingers down to the knuckle but with none of the top part of the finger or nail. I honestly wish I'd taken a photo to show you how insane it looked. Poor darling. I helped clean up her other hand and foot that were damaged and then I tried to wash off as much of the urine from her as possible. She utterly smells and I was holding her against my chest and stomach to try and wash her properly. I now smell like pungent sloth! After I helped bandaged her up in an attractive aqua blue bandage I picked out for her and put her back in her cage after giving her some bene-bac. Slothful fact 1-sloths are incredibly resilient, despite the fact her hand was like that under the bandage she was STILL using it to climb around. I honestly have no idea how after seeing what it looked like but there you go. She was!

Next up was the incredibly feisty Miss Vickie. She was the sloth who managed to escape last time but only got as far as the next section before deciding she hated freedom. She's been developing similar sores to the ones that Sarita, Zoey, Piphany etc had last time. They're slightly different though, they're not circular, and she's getting a lot of them. She also keeps scratching at them which isn't really helping. Marcelo just treated all of her wounds and changed her bandages, I gave her some bene-bac (by kind of rubbing it in her mouth after I'd injected it so she didn't just have this giant glob in her throat!) and I put her back. She had been split up from Spencer, her previous roommate, because they're trying not to have makes and females together. However Marcelo said he doesn't want her more stressed out then she has to be so back she went with her old friend.

They have a fairly new sloth in the clinic too, she came in on the 18th of January because she was on a power line and the people who found her realised she had a really infected foot. You definitely could say that. I literally spent maybe 20 minutes? Squeezing her foot and getting all of the pus out of it. It kept going and going. It was the Duracell Bunny of infected feet. After I cleaned it up and soaked it in some hot water with antiseptic. In the meantime Marcelo was trying to give her some intravenous fluids, however it is extremely hard to get a sloth vein to do this. He eventually ended up cutting into her arm to try and get it in that way. To do this he opened the top layer of skin with a scalpel and then separated the skin from the fatty layer underneath. Slothful fact 2-sloths have hardly any fat under their skin and are actually very lean. Unfortunately as much as he tried Marcelo couldn't get it to work so I helped him stitch her up, with some extremely attractive purple thread (where was this when I had to have stitches?!) After we did some X-rays of her foot, she woke up at one point and was not happy with us. Trying to hold a sloth still for an X-ray while they're thrashing about trying to bite you, not easy my friends! Once that was all done we gave her some anti-biotics, some vitamins and woke her back up.

So after all of my sloth education with Marcelo I still managed to stomach a huge lunch, it's lucky I'm good with gross stuff! Because seriously, that bone. WOW. Sloths are seriously amazing though, they can survive so much that would usually put a human out of action for a good long time. Incredible little creatures.

It was then back to normal volunteer duties, another sloth lost a claw, it always looks so painful! Slothful fact 3-In the wild sloths will naturally trim their teeth on nails on bark etc however we have to trim them ourselves. Unfortunately this requires sedation which is expensive and not good for the sloth so they try to do it only when completely necessary. I also continued with the project I've been doing. It has been a bit slow the last few days because it's been so hot that all of the sloths are pretty much out of it most of the day. On an upside to the gorgeous hot weather I've been able to do a bit of sunbathing!

Marcelo asked Santiago where Gigia was buried for me today and he took me to where it was. It's actually right at the back of section 6 (the new section near the kitchen). He's buried under a really lovely mango tree and I'm glad he's nearby. I might ask Judy if I can plant something there that grows easily here, some kind of flower. It still makes me so sad that I can't see him everyday. He really was my sloth soulmate.

I really don't have long left, how time flies when you're with one of the slowest creatures on the planet.
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