Sloth Bear

The sloth bear, the only member of Family Ursidae in Sri Lanka is found in dry zone forest habitats. Shaggy, dusty, and untidy black coat is an unmistakable to spot Sloth Bear. It is solitary by nature and emits noisy grunts and snorts while walking by keeping its nose closer to the ground in search of insects and fresh fruit. Sloth bears feed predominantly on termites and ants which it removes from rotting stumps and termite mounds and employ a well-evolved method to dig them out. In addition to the termites and other insects, sloth bears feast on a variety of fruit that are common in the dry forests.  They spend considerable time on the Palu trees during the fruiting season as the sweetness and the abundance of tiny Palu fruits are simply irresistible. Bears consume large quantities of fruits of Palu (Manilkara hexandra), Madan (Szsygium cumini) and Weera (Drypetes sepiaria) during the fruiting season; in turn bear help seed dispersal through defecation. After a six- to seven-month gestation period sloth bears normally give birth to a litter of two cubs in an underground or rocky den. The cubs will often ride on their mother’s back, a unique trait among sloth bears. Yala, Wilpattu, Wasgomuwa National Parks are the most popular places to watch Sloth Bears.

  • Scientific name – Melursus ursinus
  • Expert tree climbers in search of berries.
  • Extremely fond of termites
  • Mother carries the cubs on her back
  • Sloth Bears do not hibernate

Sloth Bear Spotting Destinations