Sloth Bear

Melursus ursinus

Animals of Asia Back
Unlike its name suggests , the sloth bear is not related to sloths at all—although it has been seen hanging upside down from trees, much like tree sloths do—nor is it a slow moving creature. Despite the medium size of this bear and its 3 inch long claws it is not a great climber. The sloth bear actually received its name from its unique appearance with long, rough, unruly hair around its ears, shoulders, and neck. On its chest, there is a white patch of fur in the shape of either a “Y,” “O,” or “U”. 

As an adaptation for its ant and termite diet, the sloth bear does not have hair on its nose. It can actually prevent bugs from crawling up its nose by closing its nostrils. The sloth bear has no upper front teeth and when sucking up termites, the sloth bear’s lips and tongue work much like a vacuum, forming a powerful suction, and subsequently resulting in loud sucking sounds that can be heard from over 300 feet away.  

Sloth bears are solitary, except when they come together to breed. After mating, the father will leave, and the mother will raise her cubs alone. It is believed, however, that the same mates are kept year after year. Sloth bears are the only bears to carry their young on their back. 


Ants, termites, fruits, flowers and honey

Print Wildlife Card

Please take the survey by clicking below

Thank you for visiting our website!

We want to hear from you!

Please take our 2 minute survey and tell us what you think of our new website. Your response will really help us out.

Click "Yes" below and when you leave this website you will automatically be taken to the survey - and it only takes 2 minutes to complete!