About Sloth Bear

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A sloth bear that was entering human settlements in Kudha in the Nilgiris was recently captured and relocated by the Forest Department.

About Sloth Bear


  • Sloth bears are one of the eight bear species found across the world.
  • Scientific Name: Melursus ursinus
  • Distribution:
    • Their range includes India, Sri Lanka and southern Nepal.
    • 90% of the global Sloth Bear population is found in India.
  • Habitat: They live in a variety of dry and moist forests and in some tall grasslands, where boulders, scattered shrubs and trees provide shelter.
  • Features:
    • They have long, shaggy dark brown or black fur and curved claws, which are the longest out of any of the bear species.
    • They use their claws to excavate termites and ants.
    • Size: They grow 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) long, stand 2 to 3 feet (0.5 to 1 meters) high at the shoulder, and weigh, on average, 90 to 140 kilograms.
    • They have poor senses of sight and hearing but a good sense of smell.
    • Sloth bears' nostrils can close completely, protecting the animals from dust or insects when raiding termite nests or beehives.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN: Vulnerable
    • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule 1


Q1) What are termites?

Termites are eusocial insects, meaning they live in organized colonies with distinct castes and cooperative behaviors. These castes typically include workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals (kings and queens).They are known for their ability to feed on cellulose-based materials, primarily wood, and play significant roles in ecosystems as decomposers. However, termites are often considered pests when they infest human-made structures, causing damage to wooden structures and objects.

Source: Sloth bear trapped in the Nilgiris, relocated