fruit, leaves, honey
savannahs, scrublands and grasslands
southern lowlands of Nepal and Bhutan
The sloth bears use their sickle-shaped claws as ‘climbing hooks’ to hoist themselves up trees. They climb not to escape danger, but to get at termite or bee nests. Inserting their long snouts into the nests, they rip them open with their claws. They can voluntarily open and close their nostrils to prevent inhaling dust. They then blow away the earth and suck the termites into their mouths, with much noisy puffings and belchings.
Human-bear conflict occurs when sloth bears enter farmed land to feed on crops like maize and sugar cane. Face-offs are often fatal. The resultant hostility of the locals towards the bears has made bear conservation harder. You can help by supporting projects that aim to aid sloth bears and the people living alongside them.