If you want to have an exotic pet for the purpose of owning an unusual animal, you could certainly find many pets more common than a two-toed sloth. While lacking a history of domestication, these South American mammals can be found as pets, provided that they are acquired through legal channels. And they are definitely out of the norm of pets-- their stringy hair, angled feet, adorable faces, and distinctive hanging pose will definitely serve as an effective conversation piece.
The appeal of having a sloth for a pet is that they are very passive and easy-going. They are famous for their low metabolism and lack of activity; they can sleep up to 20 hours a day and only need to defecate around once a week. They are capable of activity, and people who own pet sloths have reported being able to play with them, but generally do not need any contact from their owners.
On the other hand, since sloths are so rarely kept as pets, there are few resources available specifically for their care. Little is known about proper sloth nutrition, though sloth owners have found success with the " leaf biscuits " fed to zoo herbivores. They are very sensitive to their environment, and should only be kept in hot, moist climates similar to their native rainforests. And while they are passive in behavior, they are capable of inflicting nasty injuries with their claws-- the claws are very sharp, and sloths are extremely muscular so that they can defend themselves from predators like jaguars and harpy eagles.
The owner of a sloth will have to work hard and work independently to ensure their pet's continued well-being; thus, owning a sloth is only recommended to somebody who absolutely loves the animals. It's a bit too much work just for an unusual identity statement.
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About the author:
A freelance writer/cartoonist living in LA, with my fiance' and our wonderful cat. You can see my work at www.rubysworldcomic.com and rubynation.smackjeeves.com