Chapter four - The strange animals
Is this it? The end? Being snatched up into the talons of a harpy eagle? Or chomped by a sea snake? Has he been snapped by a crocodile?!
Dego is floating in the air, the water moving further away from him. But the grip holding him is far gentler than that of a mighty harpy eagle. He turns his head to see the strange animals standing on their floating platform. One smiles.
On the floating platform the animals are inspecting him. Dego has no idea what’s happening - but he hasn’t been eaten yet! They are, however, attaching something around his neck and shoulders.
All the while they chatter in their strange language.
‘Don’t worry, we’re putting a GPS backpack on you so we know where you are and can find out more about you.’
‘Now let’s get you to a nice safe tree.’
The platform pulls up and Dego, with new accessories, is lifted into the air and back onto a strong mangrove tree.
He starts to climb, as rapidly as he can, up and away from the funny animals. He can’t feel what-ever they’ve attached to his back – is it even still there? He spins his head to check. There it is, a small black box, nestled into his bright orange back fur. As he settles down, hanging from a big, leafy branch, he watches the animals float away and around the island.
‘Be safe perezoso! We’ll be back to check on you in a few months.’
He yawns. And…
Days and weeks go by without disruption. Hummingbirds whizz and bats flit. The rain stops and the island is luscious, green and full of life - just like Dego himself. Patches of his once caramel coat are now a brilliant mossy green as fungi and algae starts to grow in it. Dego is becoming a mini is-land himself as more and more beetles and moths start to move in and make his fur their home, munching and breeding away. He’s becoming so camouflaged he can hardly see himself in the re-flection of the water anymore.
More and more of the strange animals are arriving on the island. Most of the time they don’t spot him - thanks to his mossy coat. Life passes by exactly as he likes it, slowly, peacefully and without adventure. He spots another sloth a few trees away, maybe tomorrow he’ll introduce himself to her, but for now he might just ….
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.