Bears of India

There are three species of bears found in India: the Himalayan Black Bear, The Brown Bear and The Sloth Bear. The Black Bear and the Brown Bear are found in the Himalayan ranges, whereas the Sloth Bear is found all over the Indian peninsula.

Daroji Bear Sanctuary

I have at various times during my wanderings in the Indian forests come across “Sloth Bears”. The sighting would always be sudden and brief as the animal would dash for cover and disappear into the thick foliage. At Daroji the experience was completely different! We saw eight different sloth bears in about two hours and we did not have to move an inch!!

Species of India – BEARS FAMILY OF INDIA

The Sloth Bear In India

The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. It possesses several morphological and physiological adaptations to a myrmecophagous (feeding on ants & termites) niche. Presently, its distributional range is shrinking and populations are becoming fragmented concurrent with continuing habitat degradation and fragmentation associated with human use. Studying the ecology and behavior in an area impacted by humans will lead to an objective assessment of how the various impacts affect bear populations and behavior. This will in turn result in an objective plan for the conservation of this species.

Sloth Bear – Wikipedia

  • Bengal tigers will occasionally prey on sloth bears. Tigers usually give sloth bears a wide berth, though some specimens may become habitual bear killers and it is not uncommon to find sloth bear fur in tiger scats. Tigers typically hunt sloth bears by waiting for them to feed on ant-hills, then creep behind them and seize them by the back of their necks and force them to the ground with their weight. One tiger was reported to simply break its victim’s back with its paw, then wait for the paralysed bear to exhaust itself trying to escape before going in for the kill. When confronted by tigers face to face, sloth bears will charge at them, crying loudly. A young, or already satiated tiger will usually retreat from an assertive sloth bear, as the bear’s claws can inflict serious wounds. Sloth bears may scavenge on tiger kills. As tigers are known to mimic the calls of sambar deer to attract them, sloth bears react fearfully even to the sounds made by deer themselves.Indian leopards can also be a threat, as they are able to follow sloth bears up trees. Sloth bears will occasionally chase leopards from their kills.
  • Sloth bears are sympatric with Asiatic Black Bears in Northern India, and the two species, along with the sun bear, co-exist in some of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. They are also found together in Assam, Manipur and Mizoram, in the hills south of the Brahmaputra river, the only places occupied by all three bear species. The three species do not act aggressively toward each other.
  • In India, their distribution is patchy, and mostly occur in areas of forest cover. They are absent in the high mountains of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, the northwestern deserts of Rajasthan, and a broad non-forested swath in the south. Sloth bears are the most widespread bear species in India, being found in the Siwaliks(also in Pakistan) , low hills bordering the outer range of the Himalayas from Punjab to Arunachal Pradesh, though they are no longer found as far west as Punjab. They are isolated from the sloth bear populations of Nepal, due to the connection being broken by agricultural lands. Sloth bears in Nepal are mainly restricted to the Terai, the southern strip of lowland forest and grasslands bordering India. A few isolated populations may still occur in the Chittagong and Sylhet regions of eastern Bangladesh.

India Bear Rescue

Tigers eat sloth bears, don’t they?

Last Indian dancing bear set free (video)

Animal rights campaigners are celebrating the end of a seven-year campaign to see all of India’s dancing bears set free.

Former keepers have been rehabilitated into other jobs so that they no longer use the animals to earn an income.

Claudia Sermbezis went to Bangalore to watch the release of the last bear.

Katrick Satyanarayan: How we rescued the “dancing” bears

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