Name: the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is a bear native to South East Asia that feeds on ants and termites.
Appearance: sloth bears have long, shaggy fur, manes around their faces, and long, sickle-shaped claws. Their fur is completely black with a whitish Y or V shape on their chests.
Size: they are medium-sized bears weighing up to 145 kg and reaching up to 1.9m in length.
Diet: sloth bears mainly feed on ants and termites. They use their long claws to scrape at termite mounds and ant nests, sucking up their victims with their tongues. Their diet also includes fruits such as mangoes and jackfruits, as well as sugar cane and honey.
Did you know: sloth bears are one of the most aggressive species of bear, and are known to regularly attack humans. Despite their fearsome nature, they have a long history of being tamed and kept as pets. Dancing bears have been a popular form of entertainment in India since the 13th century. While this has now been banned, there are as many as 800 dancing bears estimated to live on the streets of India today.
Location: their range covers India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. They live in forests, savannahs, scrublands, and grasslands below 1,500m.
Where TO SEE sloth bears
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see sloth bears in the following places:
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Photo credit: JudaM under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay