Lucy Cooke may have one of the best jobs on the entire planet. She’s a documentarian, a sloth documentarian; you’ve probably seen her work in the happiness-producing “Meet the Sloths,” her video about the Aviaros sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. Animal Planet has realized her talents (and the great power of sloths) and will air an hour-long documentary called Too Cute! Baby Sloths this Saturday at 8 p.m. The trailer is above. Set your DVRs now.
We got in touch with Cooke, who is also writing a book called The Little Book of Sloth, to ask her a few questions about our possibly most favorite animal, aside from the slow loris. Our Q&A, after the jump. Happy Friday.
How did you start working with sloths?
I have been a documentary filmmaker for 10 years but my first love has always been animals. Particularly the freaky ones that no one else loves. I studied zoology at Oxford (under Richard Dawkins) and have a passion for the quirks of evolution, and sloths are most certainly one of those. As soon as I stumbled on the sanctuary I knew it was an extraordinary story.
Tell us what people don’t know about them but should.
They are not dirty, and they don’t smell. They have no natural body odor, and their fur is a miniature jungle of algae and thousands of insects, including a moth that spends its whole life cycle tied to the sloth. This is a very effective camouflage coat that helps keep them hidden from their number one predator, the Harpy eagle.
Who is your favorite and why?
Hard to chose a favorite. I love them all. But Buttercup, the one in the hat at the end, is a seriously lovable animal. She’s like the Dude. Very, very chilled.
What do you love about your job?
My job takes me to incredible places to see amazing animals and the inspirational people working to save them. As well as this sloth film this year I have been filming my own series for National Geographic where I traveled to Borneo, Tasmania, and Africa in search of some the planet’s weirdest creatures — and found some that are even stranger than the sloth.
Do you have any pets?
No I’m not a big fan of pets. I prefer wild animals. Although I would love a sausage dog if I didn’t travel so much. I love sausage dogs.
What makes sloths so likable, do you think?
I think there is a bit of the sloth in all of us. Any animal that is as mellow as the sloth has to be admired. And the babies are so vulnerable and awkward, they are basically cute crack.
Save an orphan baby sloth this Christmas….they need your beanz!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 16, 2011