Sloth Technician

The Sloth Institute

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Volunteer • Full Time Sarah King

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!


The Sloth Institute Costa Rica (TSI) was founded in 2014 for the purpose of enhancing the welfare of captive and wild sloths through research and educations and to collaborate with Toucan Rescue Ranch to assist with the care, rehabilitation and release of sloths. TSI accepts up to 6-8 Sloth Technician 1's in a given year; with a rolling application process. TSI is a legal non-profit in Costa Rica and fiscally sponsored by a US 501(c)(3) tax deductible non-profit. Our headquarters and projects, are located in the Manuel Antonio rainforest maritime zone property at Tulemar Resort a short distance from Manuel Antonio National Park.

TSI has a three part mission.

1) RESEARCH of captive, wild and recently released sloths including collaborations with conservationists and scientists around the world

2) EDUCATION to generate and disseminate responsible information about sloths

3) CONSERVATION programs that negate human encroachment issues impacting sloths welfare and habitat.

Position Description:

The Sloth Institute Costa Rica (TSI) accepts up to 6-8 Sloth Technician I's a year to support the Wildlife Director in daily fieldwork activities at the TSI field station. We are looking for an active, passionate individual to help us elevate both our sloth release and research programs.

The Sloth Technician absolutely must have the ability to work long days (9+ hours, 6days/week) with very little time off. In addition, because most of this work will occur at night, this person will need to be able to work when tired and basically become nocturnal.

This person must be extremely dedicated to sloth conservation and willing to forgo personal comfort for the benefit of the animals. You will to be hot, sweaty, wet, cold, eaten by mosquitos, sleepy, sore, and tired but you'll still feel that there is no other place in the world that you would rather be than watching sloths in the jungle. The ideal person will eat, sleep, breathe and dream about sloths! This is rigorous fieldwork with limited hands on interactions with sloths. 

Research and fieldwork

  • Conduct behavioral monitoring at night in the rainforest.
  • Daily Data Entry
  • Using VHF radio telemetry

Animal husbandry

  • Preparing food/collecting wild food items for sloths
  • Feeding, cleaning and enriching sloth cages
  • Assist in opportunistic capture, sample collection and release of sloths


All applicants must be physically fit, healthy, have field research experience, behavioral research experience (requires patience!), excellent communication skills, a strong interest in animal welfare and conservation and a great sense of humor. Must be non-smoker.

Coursework or experience in zoology, environmental education, wildlife ecology, or a related field is required. Experience traveling to a tropical country and living in rainforest conditions are a plus.

Spanish language skills and experience working with VHF tracking technology are strongly considered.

Must complete required vaccinations and purchase current international health insurance prior to arrival in Costa Rica.

Additional Items to Bring:

  • Snake proof boots
  • Serious raingear, including heavy duty rain poncho. You will be getting wet very often.
  • Comfortable clothing, preferably quick-dry. Clothes get destroyed in the jungle, so bring plenty of shirts/tank tops and shorts
  • Khaki field shorts (3-4 pairs)
  • Large umbrella
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack (waterproof)
  • Headlamps
  • Binoculars
  • Laptop
  • Unlocked smart phone
  • Waterproof case for phone

Salary/Funding: This is a voluntary self-funded position. You will be responsible for all travel expenses/flights and immigration expenses. Room in shared tent or shared apartment accommodations and basic meals will be provided. WIFI, electricity and running water will be included.

Term of Appointment: Must be willing to stay at least 3 months with an option for extension upon review. Position begins as early as possible in 2019.

To apply please send you CV and letter of interest to

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