It is I, Mahasona, fear me!

It is I, Mahasona, fear me!

An ancient Sri Lankan legend reveals all

Actually, I am nothing like that legend. I’m just a peaceful Sri Lankan Sloth Bear. The fearsome demon Mahasona allegedly attacks people in graveyards, lonely junctions and in the hills. The famous legend - a story for another time - claims that he has a sloth bear head turned back-to-front. So when they see me, people think I am Mahasona. Why drag a peaceful creature like me into a violent legend? I certainly don’t like hanging out in the places Mahasona does. I prefer the jungle where my shaggy black fur blends in nicely with the vegetation and I can go about grubbing for nuts, berries and roots. Also, I never hunt. The only meat I eat is leftovers from a leopard kill. The leopards don’t mind, we get along very well.

Fun Facts

Ok, so here’s the thing. I love eating Palu fruit and I have no self-control. The fruit is a little intoxicating in large quantities, so I end up curling up in a hollow log or a cosy nook to sleep it off. Sometimes, I’ve been startled awake by villagers foraging for honey or fruit and… I may have gotten aggressive with them. But you can’t blame me. Nobody likes to be awakened suddenly! And just because the steel-hard claws on my flailing paws happen to injure them, doesn’t mean I am evil. So that’s why I did this interview - to set the record straight and clear my name!

Story of the Photo

Sloth bears love peaceful surroundings where they are not bothered by anyone. This picture of the bear rooting around for food, was taken close to the Mahoora Tented Safari Camp in Wilpattu by Dilum, on one of his excursions.

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