Posted by: JulieAloha | June 19, 2017

365 Gratitude Project- Day 170: Sloth Bear Snack

June 19, 2017

Sloth Bear Snack: 1:00pm Daily, except Thursdays. We have three Sloth Bears, females Kushali and Tasha, and our only male Bhutan. Sloth bears are an insectivorous bear species, eating mostly termites, honeybees, ants and fruit and have a special adaptation to eat their favorite foods – they have a gap in their front teeth in order to make it easier to suck their prey out of its nest. This adaptation is highlighted in the Sloth Bear Snack as clear tubes are hooked up to the exhibit and the bears suck grubs and goodies through the “straws” like mammalian vacuum cleaners. 

These bears are designated as vulnerable due to poaching, habitat loss and illegal capture for roadside shows and the exotic pet trade. Litters often run to twins and triplets and cubs stay with mom for up to two years. 

Fun fact: unusual for most bears, when the cubs are young they often ride piggyback on mom as she must range widely to find food and may need to travel quickly.

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