Megatherium is thought to be closely related to the Mapinguari
According to Brazilian stories, the Mapinguari was once an Amazonian shaman who discovered the key to immortality thousands of years ago. He angered the gods and was severely punished as to his discovery, which forced him to be transformed into a wandering beast for the rest of his life.
Most sightings show the beast as a giant sloth, although a few see it as an ape-like creature. Most cryptozoologists speculate that the Mapinguari is either a Megatherium, a large giant ground sloth from the Ice Age that lived in the area, or another species of Giant Sloth. Megatheruim also lived in South America Where it is reported. Many incidents in which several pounds of Mapinguari "hair" and "droppings" were analyzed, it only turned out to be the deposits of giant anteaters and the hair of small rodents. The creature also supposedly has a horrid odor, but not as bad as something like the Skunk Ape's (even tought that in the original stories it's smell can knockout someone). It is said to sometimes be a humanoid creature with a mouth in the middle of its stomach. It is sometimes said to have one eye, long claws, caiman skin, backward feet and a second mouth on its belly.
If this creature turns out to be real, it would probably be an endangered species due to habitat destruction (of the Amazon rainforest). It would also have to be protected from poachers.
The Mapinguari is featured on the show Beast Hunters. As said in the episode it is also commonly featured in Brazilian culture. This creature is also hunted in the show Monsters Underground, which is on Destination America. Bill Brock and his team head to Graveyard Gulch, located in Northern California, and investigate the reason for recent unexplained black bear deaths. In season 2 episode 5 of Destination Truth the team searches for the Mapinguari in the Amazonian rain-forest.