Sloth Bear

Sloth Bear at NANDANKANAN Zoological Park, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha

This photo was taken at NANDANKANAN Zoological Park, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.

  • Description and Habit: The Sloth bear is a medium size bear weighing between 65-145 kg with a body length of 140-170cm. It has a very shaggy coat of black fur with grey and brown hairs mixed in. On the chest, there is a white or cream coloured U-shaped or V-shaped patch of fur. It has a long snout and lumbering gait. The sloth bear is dim-slighted and rears up on its hind lengs and bites of claws when alarmed.
    The bear sucks up termites and ants through the gap caused by its missing from incisors. Its long claws are used to tear up termite mounds.
  • Gestation: 6 to 7 months long. Female can produce up to three cubs although one or two are common. Mother carries her young on her back.
  • Range: Found in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
  • Habitat: Deciduous forest, scrub and grasslands at predominantly lower altitudes. It is more often found in drier forests and areas with rock outcroppings.
  • Diet: Mostly Termites. Other items of diet include fruits and other plant matter, eggs, inscets, honecombs etc.
  • Conservation Status: Under Schedule-1 of Wildlife (protection) Act, Vulnerable as per IUCN Red List.
  • Conservation Threats: Poaching and Habitat loss.

(Source: display board)