Through her moving series of images, "Slothlove," Sam Trull reveals her perspective as a friend to the incredibly disarming sloths of Costa Rica. Her images illustrate much about the lives of these awe-inspiring creatures while also conveying the hardship and struggle they face for survival. Trull will be speaking about her book at Flyleaf Books Wednesday night.
Staff writer Anish Bhatia spoke with Trull about what she wants her audience to take away from her new book "Slothlove."
The Daily Tar Heel: Tell me about transition from the United States to the wilds of Costa Rica. To what extent have your volunteer experiences and expeditions shaped your journey?
Sam Trull: I started traveling outside of the USA to work with wild animals in their habitat country in 2007 with my first trip to Madagascar to study aye-ayes. Since then I have been back to Madagascar twice more and also had trips to Nigeria, Ghana and other West African countries, The Bahamas, Trinidad, Panama, Colombia and, of course, Costa Rica. All of these different travel experiences helped put my life into perspective and highlight what is really important to me and what kind of positive effect I would like to have on the world.
DTH: What is The Sloth Institute about?
ST: The Sloth Institute is a non-profit organization that I started with my co-founder, Seda Sejud, in August of 2014, about a year and a half after I first moved to Costa Rica. I had been working for Kids Saving the Rainforest those first two years and realized my passion for working exclusively with sloths.
In addition I saw a great need for more research about them and how to use that research to inform decisions that will save sloth habitat and sloth lives. In Costa Rica, as well as many other countries in Central and South America, sloths are in danger from human encroachment in their natural habitat.
The dangers include forest destruction and fragmentation, roads, electric wires, dogs, disease and the pet trade. Our goal at The Sloth Institute is to mitigate these dangers to sloths through research and education.
DTH: Any memorable encounters you’d like to share? How do you feel like they have changed your perspective on the world/nature over the years?