sloth bear

Sloth Bear by Pat Stotler

The sloth bear’s habitat is India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. This bear has a shaggy, dusty-black coat and a pale, short-haired muzzle. The cream-colored “V” or “Y” shaped mark on its chest is typical, and its nostrils can close to protect the bear from dust or insects when raiding nests or beehives. The gap in the sloth bear’s teeth enables it to suck up ants, termites and other insects. This 120 to 310 pound bear can grow between 5 to 6 feet long. The sloth bear is the only bear species adapted specifically for ant and termite eating. It’s strong, long claws are used to open cement-like termite nest mounds and climb trees to knock honeycombs to the ground. The bear uses it’s lips like a vacuum, making loud noises as it sucks insects from their nests. Females give birth to one or two cubs in underground dens and remain there for several months. Sloth bears are the only bears that carry young on their backs. Cubs typically ride on their mother’s back during the first nine months and remain by her side for 1.5 to 2.5 years