Sloth encounters are all the rage right now, and I couldn’t be happier. So, checking out the Living Treasures Animal Park Sloth Encounter in Laurel Highlands, PA, was a dream come true. From what you can expect to cost, here’s exactly what you need to know about Living Treasures sloth encounter including all the cute photos.
Disclosure: We were graciously hosted by the folks at Living Treasures Animal Park. All opinions are my own!
Living Treasures Animal Park Sloth Encounter
If you know this site (thank you!), you know that I’m a HUGE animal lover. And sloths are right at the top of my list, for sure. While there’s no way to narrow a single reason why, it’s the combination of their sweet faces, calm demeanor, and all-around precious habits that put them at the top of my list.
So, heading to the Living Treasures Animal Park sloth encounter in Laurel Highlands was a no brainer. The Kid and I interacted with Padawan, a year-old Two-Toed Sloth and fed him. And I was in sloth heaven. We weren’t able to hold him, for safety and security reasons, but we did get super close.
If you’re not familiar with Living Treasures, it has two locations. I asked the difference between the location in New Castle and Laurel Highlands and it turns out the latter has more exotic animals to check out. Both offer light animal interactions in the zoo areas, aka, feedings, but only Laurel Highlands has sloth encounters. Just for reference, the Laurel Highlands area is about an hour east of Pittsburgh.
Okay, let’s get down to it. Here’s the scoop on our sloth encounter and what you can expect when you visit.
Update March 15, 2023: At this time Living Treasures Animal Park is not offering a sloth encounter and does not expect to any time soon. But, please continue to read this post on the fun for posterity!
How Many People Can Attend a Sloth Encounter at Living Treasures?
At this time, no more than six. Also of note, you can’t swap out people, either. Honestly, it’s for the best interest of Padawan. Sloths do get stressed and the team at Living Treasures does everything possible to keep him happy.
Living Treasures Animal Park Sloth Encounter: How Long Is the Sloth Encounter?
Right now, it’s 30 minutes long. When we visited, his handler has a timer on her phone to keep everyone on schedule. She also gave us a five-minute warning to make sure we took any last-minute photos.
Sloth Encounter Tip: It’s recommended that you arrive 15 minutes early to your sloth encounter. Sloth encounter times are locked down, so if you arrive late you’ll be docked the time.
During our visit, we asked questions about Padawan, which was very enlightening. One bit of knowledge I didn’t know was that a sloth’s gender cannot be determined without a blood test. I mean, in the wild if you see a baby sloth clinging to an adult sloth, it can be assumed. Other than that, a blood test it is.
Living Treasures Animal Park Sloth Encounter: Can You Pet the Sloth at Living Treasures Animal Park?
With a paid sloth encounter, absolutely. To keep Padawan stress-free, we were only able to pet his back. So, no touching his head, face, or limbs. I was completely cool with that. What I did learn was how soft his fur was. It turns out he gets coconut oil fur treatments to keep it that. Spoiled sloth, indeed.
Living Treasures Animal Park Sloth Encounter: Can You Take Pictures with A Sloth?
Oh, yeah! You can take as many photos as you like. There is a rule, though: When you’re petting Padawan, have someone else take the photos.
Living Treasures Animal Park Sloth Encounter: Can You Feed Padawan at Living Treasures?
Sure! Padawan has learned that the encounters mean getting treats, so he comes in ready to munch. During our visit, we fed him sweet potato pieces about half-way through the encounter and he was ready to eat from the get go. Again, when you’re feeding Padawan, someone else will need to take the photos.
Another fun sloth fact: they grind their teeth to keep them shorter, so Padawan was making the most adorable grinding noise I’ve ever heard. He was doing it in preparation of his snack, and it was the cutest thing ever. Okay, his nose is probably the cutest thing ever, but it came in a close second.
Living Treasures Animal Park Sloth Encounter: How Much Does a Sloth Encounter at Living Treasures Cost?
At the time this post was written, the cost of a sloth encounter is $125 for up to six people. Also to know, children under the age of five are not permitted at a sloth encounter. Another word of note: same day encounters are not possible; you’ll have to book at least one day in advance. Having written that, sloth encounters are super popular, so lock down your reservation as soon as possible. The booking system allows for locking them down 53 days in advance.
Know Before You Go: If you want to visit the Animal Park during your visit, separate paid admission is required.