India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka
Lowland forests (jungles); rocky, hilly places
Wild: Termites, ants, wild honey, insects, tree fruits, sugar cane
Zoo: Dog chow, fruit
6 to 7 months
These smaller bears are 4.5 to 5.5 feet long, and weigh 175 to 310 pounds. (Females are slightly smaller) The name come from the resemblance to the 3-toed sloth. The sloth bear has a gray-white flexible snout which acts as a vacuum cleaner in sucking up termites or grubs from trees, to the accompaniment of loud sucking and grunting sounds. A protruding lower lip and narrow extending tongue further aid his foraging activities. The black fur is long, shaggy, and often matted. There is a distinguishing white or chestnut horseshoe shaped crescent marking on the chest. The ears are relatively large; The long, curved claws make him a good climber, and, like the sloth, he can hang upside down. The snout is very mobile and the nostrils can be closed voluntarily.The loud noises they make while feeding on termites attracts hunters, and may contribute to the decline of the species. They do not hibernate. They are thought to maintain small territories, and live as solitary individuals except when a female is caring for her young. There are fewer than 10,000 in the wild.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Bear & Tiger Exhibits at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.