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One of the Better Days for the Ecuadorian Highway Police Involved a Sloth

Being a highway police must be a boring job most of the time. After you finish your donuts and your coffee in the morning, what else is left to do?
Ecuador highway police rescue a sloth 5 photos
Police rescuing a slothPolice rescuing a slothPolice rescuing a slothPolice rescuing a sloth
Well, you can place your car in an unsuspected position to give speeding drivers a scare, but that’s only amusing for an hour or two. That means you’ve got six more (five and a half, factoring in the diabetes-inducing breakfast) to go until you can switch on your car’s siren and head home.

You can spend part of that time praying that something serious enough happens so that you engage in a high-speed pursuit. As fun as those events might seem on tv, we’re more than certain that no cop wants to be part of such things - there are just too many things that can go wrong and the risks are so great that the benefit of getting to drive at full speed can be overlooked.

Right, what else? You can always sweep the highway for any potential hazards, doing your best to keep the traffic flowing and the drivers safe. One such hazard are the wild animals that can cross the road, but there isn’t much a traffic officer can do about them. Unless, of course, we’re talking about the only animal out there that a turtle might feel like it has a chance against in a ten-foot race: the sloth.

Unlike its primordial ancestor featured in the Ice Age series, this one was a tiny ball of fur the size of a cat. Looking at the endless stretch of asphalt (amounting to about two lanes and a hard shoulder) that separated it from the lush vegetation, it decided it was too much of a hassle, so it grabbed one of the railings instead.

That’s where the officer found it, hugging that piece of metal and holding on to it for dear life. The little sloth was taken to a vet, declared fit to be returned to its habitat and released back into the wild. Before that happened, though, the funny-faced animal went viral, and now Comisión de Tránsito del Ecuador is faced with the sort of international attention it never hoped to achieve. Nor did it need to, really.


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