Monday, August 28, 2017

Mammal Monday -- Sloth Bear

The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is an unusual looking bear found in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.  These long-haired bears grow to about 5-6 feet in length and 200-300 lbs. They have an unusual, pigeon-toed kind of stride and very long claws, because they dig into termite and ant nests and beehives to find their favorite foods.  They're so well-adapted to eating termites and ants that they're missing their two upper front incisors -- the better for slurping!  When in season, these bears also like to eat honey, mangoes, figs, and other fruits and flowers.  Want to learn more about these bears, efforts to protect them, and how you can help?  Visit the Smithsonian National Zoo's website.

Here's my video from a recent trip to the National Zoo:

video

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