Sloth bear

This ant & termite eater is native to the Indian subcontinent with two subspecies

Sourabh Bharti

Native to Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal, and unlike other bear species, they usually carry their young on their backs. Their feed primarily consists of ants and termites. Adult sloth bears do not even have top two incisors, which helps them easily suck up ants and other insects. Moreover, they can completely shut their nostrils, shielding them against insects raiding a termite nest or beehive.

These fantastic animals are sometimes captured for circus or performances and hunted because of their aggressive behavior and the destruction of crops. Moreover, habitat loss is also having a negative impact on their population.


Population est.
Official estimate
Last seen 1970s
Possibly Extant, Origin Uncertain
Sri Lanka

Recent updates

Feb 2022: The Madhya Pradesh Forest Department in India launched a project to protect sloth bears by planting fruit trees in areas where the bears are known to live. The initiative aims to provide a sustainable food source for the bears and reduce their reliance on human-populated areas for food.

Nov 2021: The Sloth Bear Foundation launched a new program in Nepal to reduce human-bear conflicts and promote coexistence. The initiative involves working with local communities to implement measures such as building fences, installing motion sensor cameras, and conducting educational workshops.

Sep 2021: The Indian government announced that it would establish a new sloth bear sanctuary in the western state of Gujarat. The sanctuary will provide a protected habitat for sloth bears, as well as other wildlife species.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No