Sloths may seem friendly, but they can be dangerous if they feel threatened.

Are sloths dangerous? What to know about the slow-moving creatures

Sloths are known for their slow and sleepy nature. These cute mammals, which spend most of their time upside down, can be found in the trees of South America and Central America. These mellow looking creatures are closely related to armadillos and anteaters and eat a diet of mostly leaves.

Because of their sleepy nature, sloths have become lovable, with sloth characters even showing up in children’s movies, like Sid the sloth from the Ice Age franchise.

Like any wild animals, however, sloths can be unpredictable and may react to humans who infringe on their territory. Are these lovely animals dangerous? We have the answers.

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Are sloths dangerous?

Sloths can seem cute and friendly, but if provoked they can be dangerous. According to AZ Animals, if left alone in their natural habitat, sloths do not pose a threat to humans.

Sloths who become agitated or feel threatened may use their teeth or long nails to cause pain. Sloth bites are “nasty” and can become infected easily.

Are sloths ever aggressive?

Sloths are very sensitive and do not like to be touched because of the perfumes and lotions worn by humans. They can also become easily irritated by poor handling or loud noises, according to AZ Animals.

Not all sloths are the same, however. For example, two-toed sloths are more aggressive than three-toed sloths. Two-toed sloths have two toes, as opposed to three toes on their forelimbs. Although three-toed sloths are a “little more laid-back” they still do not like it when humans touch them, AZ Animal says.

What happens if a sloth bites you?

On the off chance that you do get bit by a sloth, do not be alarmed because they are not poisonous and neither are their fur or claws. Sloth bites can easily become infected, however.

Why are sloths slow?

According to World Wild Life, sloths get their sleepiness and sluggish behavior from their slow metabolism. With their “extremely low metabolic rate” sloths move an average 41 yards, or less than half a football field, every day.

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