Sloth Bear – Bandhavgarh National Park

The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), also known as the Stickney Bear or labiated bear,is a nocturnal insectivorous species of bear found wild within the Indian subcontinent. The sloth bear evolved from ancestral brown bears during the Pleistocene and shares features found in insect-eating mammals through convergent evolution. Sloth bears breed during spring and early summer and give birth near the beginning of winter. Adult sloth bears may travel in pairs, with the males being gentle with cubs. They walk in a slow, shambling motion, with their feet being set down in a noisy, flapping motion. Although they appear slow and clumsy, sloth bears are excellent climbers. They climb to feed and rest, though not to escape enemies, as they prefer to stand their ground. They are capable of climbing on smooth surfaces and hang upside down like sloths. They are good swimmers, and primarily enter water to play. To mark their territory, sloth bears will scrape trees with their forepaws, and rub against them with their flanks. They feed on termites, honeybee colonies and fruits. Sloth bears sometimes attack humans that encroach on their territory.

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