Sloths! A local high school student teaches others about the jungle creatures
Sharanya Sarathy loves all types of animals -- she has volunteered at the Woodland Park Zoo for four years. But it was a bit of YouTube surfing that got her interested in sloths.
"There are a ton of videos like 'Sloths in a Bucket' or 'Bathtime for Baby Sloth,' " she said.
Before she knew it, the senior at Lakeside High School began to research the slow-moving creatures.
"They're super-cool animals," she said. " I guess I was really intrigued by how exactly they evolved to be this slow, have very few self-defense mechanisms, but they aren't even endangered yet."
Eventually, her studies led her to Suriname in South America. She worked along side renowned Sloth expert Monique Pool, where she was able to help rescue, rehab and release wild sloths.
Now the 17-year-old not only speaks publicly about sloths, she's written a children's book.
"It's from the point of view of one of the sloths that I worked with a lot in Suriname," she said. "His name was Lucas. He was the cutest little baby sloth, and he always had a smile on his face."
Sharanya hopes the book will help educate kids about sloths and plans to donate the proceeds to the sloth conservation in Suriname.