The misunderstanding which turned a bear into a sloth

Yala National Park

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.


Amazing experience - great company values

We had a wonderful stay at yala camp - great accommodation / food / safari. The staff were all outstanding - all full of passion for their role to make sure we had an unforgettable experience and absolutely committed to providing an ethical product. This company provides a perfect safari experience - no plastics / sustainable / local produce / knowledgeable committed staff. An honour to be a guest and support them."

J K wrote, Traveled as a couple
December 2019

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