If you live in a big city like New York, it’s important to have friends. If you can’t find the time to make friends, you can do what many New Yorkers do: Own a pet!
Almost every park in the city has an area where dozens of dogs are allowed to run free. It’s called the dog run and it provides dogs hours of entertainment.
For every dog that runs wild in a dog run, there’s a cat in the window of an apartment, wondering silently about the big world outside.
Some cats live in stores, usually pet stores or delis, and sometimes those cats make short trips onto the sidewalk! Housecats as brave as tigers!
Even though I love animals, I have neither time for dogs nor room for cats. I’m just too busy and my apartment is too small.
Therefore, whenever I am lonesome for the comfort of animals, I take the 6 train to the 68th Street subway station and walk over to Central Park.
That’s the location of the Central Park Zoo – the home of a few dozen exotic animals gathered from around the world.
Matilda is a sloth that lives in a building at the Central Park Zoo. Because she’s a sloth and usually lives in the jungles of South America, she prefers to live in the Rain Forest building.
Inside the Rain Forest building is an indoor jungle environment. For Matilda, the warm air full of birds and butterflies is just like what she’d find at home in Colombia or Brazil.
All sloths are arboreal, which means that they spend most of their time in trees, and Matilda finds plenty of branches to climb in the Rain Forest building.
Fortunately, that’s not a problem if you want to visit Matilda. The zoo provides stairways and platforms that allow visitors to climb up into the trees to see her up close.
Look at these amazing pictures of Matilda!
Matilda’s a two-toed sloth, so (in my opinion) she’s cuter than her cousin, the three-toed sloth.
Sloths probably earned their interesting name because scientists believed they slept more than 15 hours a day.
However, recent scientific studies suggest that sloths actually nap about 10 hours a day – which is about the same as the luckiest human beings.
I envy Matilda.
In this busy city, she’s living peacefully, quietly eating the leaves of her little habitat.
Keep eating, Matilda! Keep napping.
The Central Park Zoo is located on 5th Avenue at 64th Street. For $10, you can see polar bears, penguins, reptiles, exotic birds (and local birds too), and Matilda, the two-toed sloth.
Text composed by Mr. Michael Lyons. Photographs snapped by Ms. Sharon Alk.