Sloth Bear

(Melursus ursinus)

This shaggy bear from Southeast Asia has a characteristically long and flexible lower lip. In combination with its very long tongue, its sealable nostrils and the gap between its teeth in the upper jaw, the sloth bear can just suck up its food like a vacuum cleaner.

CHARACTERISTICS

Range
Asia, India and Sri Lanka, occasionally in Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh

Habitat
tropical rainforests and grasslands

Diet
They prefer insects, especially termites, as well as fruit, flowers and honey, occasionally vertebrates.

 

Size
approx. 60 to 91 cm shoulder height

Weight
up to about 145 kg for males, up to about 95 kg for females

Population
endangered

 

Like a Vacuum Cleaner
Sloth bears love to go after termites: break open the nest, protrude their flexible lips, close their nostrils – and off they go! Their long tongue helps them lap everything up.

Really Cool
Sloth bears' long, shaggy fur insulates and perfectly protects them from the heat in the tropics.

Did you know...
... Sloth bears don't hibernate, their cubs initially ride on their mother's backs and their name is derived from their long claws similar to those of a sloth?