The misunderstanding which turned a bear into a sloth

Fun Facts

There isn’t a funnier origin story of how animals were named, than the story of the Sloth bear! Originally classified as belonging to the sloth family in the 1700s, thus named Bear sloth, Baloo was finally recognised as a bear when he was shipped to Europe from India in 1810! The Bear sloth thus became the Sloth bear, along with the discovery of a few more ‘bear necessities’. Similar to his cousin Winnie, all sloth bears love their honey, and much like the classic Pooh Bear cartoons, these bears also climb trees to knock down hives, then greedily gobble up the honey whilst making yummy noises like gurgling and humming as they suck their paws clean!

Did you know?

Sloth mama bears are the only species of their kind to give their cubs piggy-back rides! Also being the bear that never hibernates, they use their caves to give birth instead, where gestation lasts for about 210 days. When feeding their cubs, mama bears regurgitate a mixture of half-digested jackfruit, wood apples, and pieces of honeycomb. This hardens into a form of ‘bear bread’ which is then fed to her cubs, and also considered a delicacy by some of India's natives!


The Sri Lankan Sloth Bear is found mainly living in the lowland dry forests and the rainforests of the central hills of Sri Lanka.


Wonderful stay at Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Yala

"From the moment we were picked up to the moment we sadly had to leave, Mahoora staff provided us with an experience we will never forget. We did 2 safaris, 1 afternoon and 1 the next morning. So lucky to witness leopard up close and be able to watch her hunt!!! 

 All staff at the camp are to be highly commended. We loved every minute of it and hope to be back for longer next time"
The Allan Family, Australia
April 2018

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