Sloth Bear

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Sloth Bear
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Missing image
SlothBear.jpg
Image:SlothBear.jpg


UN stamp showing Sloth Bear
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Ursidae
Genus:Melursus
Species:M. ursinus
Binomial name
Melursus ursinus
(Shaw,, 1791)

The Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) is a nocturnal bear with shaggy fur which inhabits the lowland forests of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is the only species of bear classified in genus Melursus.

They are covered in long fur which can range from auburn to black, and have a white snout and black nose. It has a distinctive "V" shaped white mark on the chest. The males are larger than the females. Males can reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 m) and weight of 300 pounds (140 kg). They primarily eat ants and termites. If needed, they can also eat honey, eggs, birds, flowers, tubers, fruits, grains and meat.

Their primary predators are leopards, wolves, tigers and humans. Humans hunt them primarily for their gall bladders, which are valued in eastern medicine. The sloth bear is also used for entertainment, known in circuses as a "dancing bear".

The sloth bear does not move as slowly as the sloth, and can easily outrun a human. The sloth bear gets its name because its normal walk is more of a meandering shuffle. Its pugmarks are also very similar to a human footprint.

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