Watch the heroic Pygmy Sloth swimming for love like the man from the Milk Tray adverts in Planet Earth II

Exclusive: The three-toed sloth was executive producer Mike Gunton's favourite sequence of the whole upcoming series


You’re a tiny Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth living on a tiny paradise island and you hear the cry of a potential mate. So what do you do? Well, swim of course.


That was the dilemma faced by this little chap who lives in Escudo Island, Panama and the crew of the BBC1 series Planet Earth II filmed the moment he decides to take a plunge in the name of love. Yes. It’s a Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth. Swimming.

The animal’s amatory endeavours was the favourite sequence of the whole seven part series for the executive producer Mike Gunton who compared the scenes to a famous cheesy advert for a certain brand of chocolate from the 1980s.

“I loved the sloth because I think a sloth that swims for his girlfriend is like a slow motion ‘the lady loves Milk Tray’ ad,” he said with a chuckle.

And while our chap looks slow in the pictures he really is moving quite quickly – for a sloth.

The Pygmy Three-Toed sloth survives in this beautiful part of the world because of the peace and safety offered by its Caribbean island home.

It was only confirmed as a unique species in 2001 and the Planet Earth II team worked with scientists studying the remarkable but small population of a few hundred individuals, that live on a single island the size of New York’s Central Park.

The creature’s ancestors were trapped on the island of Escudo de Veraguas when the sea level rose around them, 9,000 years ago. Isolated from mainland Panama, they evolved into a new species, 40% smaller than their mainland cousins.


Planet Earth II begins on BBC1 on Sunday November 6 at 8pm