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Sloth Bear

Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) is seen in thorn forests, wet forests and grassland. It has a V-shaped breast patch, long unkempt hair and squat hind legs. Long muzzle and lower lip gives it an uncouth look and the tilt of the muzzle is dirty white. It has well-developed hook-like claws that enable them to climb trees and dig for termites. The bear is very intelligent and remembers the seasons and places where its favorite food is found.

It is about two to three feet in height. Average length is four to five feet. Males weigh 127 to 145 kg. Sloth Bear feeds shortly after sunset. It feeds on ants and termites. In summer, it collects honey and eats mangoes, jambul, ebony, bael and banyan fruits. Mating is usually in the hot weather and most of the young are born between December and January.

The animal can be spotted in the Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary and in a number of other sanctuaries in the country.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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