Sloths Coming to Yellowstone Park in 2021 - Wyoming Magazine


Sloths Coming to Yellowstone Park in 2021


Jackson, WY – 2021 will be a busy summer in Wyoming and Yellowstone Park as many folks will be opting to travel in their vehicles to wide open spaces due to COVID.  Yellowstone National Park will already be a hot spot, but travel volumes will be compounded by the new animal introductions into the park this Spring.  Not since the re-introduction of the American Wolf has there been such a buzz about new animal introductions.

As Yellowstone National Park nears its 150th anniversary in 2022, the United States Park Service and the United Wildlife Federation are excited to announce the addition of the Choloepus Hoffmani, better known as the Sloth, to Yellowstone Park in Spring, 2021. 

“We are very excited about this development as we begin studying how the slower moving sloth will interact with some of the park’s tree rodents and the diverse foliage.  We will start by introducing 28 sloths into the more humid central part of the park,” said Kevin West, Director of Animal Introductions with the U.S. Park Service.

This project has been in the works for about the last six years and there were hopes that the first sloth would be introduced in the spring of 2020, but like most things that were delayed in 2020 due to COVID concerns, “Project Sloth” was also put on hold for a year.

The United States Park Service Director, Phil Palmer said he believes that the sloth will be a massive attraction for visitors and will hopefully keep folks from crowding the bison and bears in the park, as is typical.  Some additional animal diversity should also keep park visitors from getting injured due to bad decisions.  “You know, a selfie at distance with a sloth is going to be far more fun and less dangerous than trying to get your photo with a bison. We do hope that people will leave the sloths be, but it is inevitable that people will want to see them and get close to them,” Phil said.

Sloths are harmless to people, and live mostly off of a diet of leaves and twigs.  There is no known case of a human being seriously injured or mauled by a sloth according to the World Wildlife Federation.

The small and popular western town of Cody, Wyoming at the East entrance to Yellowstone is also excited for the introduction.  Cody Mayor, Matt Hall spoke to us last week and said, “our community saw big drive traffic last summer into the eastern entrance of the park through Cody.  We expect to see much of the same this summer as COVID still remains a concern and people love the wide open spaces that Wyoming and Yellowstone provide to travelers.  The sloth introduction will only amplify the travel numbers and we are all excited about that.”

New Yellowstone Sloth Apparel at

Surf Wyoming, a lifestyle apparel retail attraction in Cody and Sheridan (also on the route to Yellowstone) has already begun producing and selling the official apparel for “Project Sloth”.  We stopped into their Cody location while interviewing for this story and to pick up a few sloth items. We ran into John Parsons, a realtor at 307 Real Estate and a board member of Cody’s Travel and Tourism board.  He was buying the sloth merchandise for some new potential clients.  “I come in here often to try and get my hands on some of these new sloth tees, but they are flying off the shelves.  I can say, we haven’t had this much buzz around Cody since Buffalo Bill came to town, and I am almost old enough to remember that!”

All routes to Wyoming this summer are going to be open and crowded, and all of the  Wyomingites we spoke to for this story are excited and ready for the traffic. 

Some interesting facts and information about the sloth:

  • Sloths are slow and clumsy on land, but are amazing swimmers.
  • Sloths are arboreal and spend a majority of their lives in trees.
  • Sloths only defecate (poop) once per week.
  • When sloths die, they remain clinging to the tree they live on.
  • Sloths have four inch claws.
  • Sloths live about 40 years.
  • Happy April Fools Day 😎
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  1. Brittany Buss

    April 1, 2021 at 8:16 am

    This made my day. As soon as I saw the headline I was laughing and waiting for the April Fool’s ending.

  2. Mary

    April 1, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    😡😡😡 I read the whole story now I’m sad 😢 😂

  3. Norman L. Feck

    April 1, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Got me!!! I read the whole story and was sucked in.
    I forgot it was April Fools Day.
    Made my day,
    Thanx for sending. I love your sense of humor. We need more people like YOU.


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