PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 May, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 May, 2002, 12:00am

Man's Heritage: Sloth, The 7th Deadly Sin

Pearl, 8.30pm

This bizarre, secretive and indolent animal is related to ant eaters and armadillos but, unlike them, eats only plants and moves lazily through the tree canopy of tropical rainforests, munching on leaves. If you think nothing much could happen in the life of such an inactive animal, think again.

This one-hour special reveals how complex and mysterious the life of a sloth can be. From defending territory, fighting for a mate, surviving in the rainforest and bringing up baby, the extraordinary lives of these docile beasts are explored. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the South American rainforest it features many other colourful inhabitants of the canopy, such as the noisy capuchin monkeys and brightly coloured parrots. Footage includes a young sloth fending for itself for the first time and a young male battling for the right to mate. All of which hardly allows time for eating and sleeping.