Sloth Bears

Sloth Bear Environmental Enrichment Device (EED):

Location: ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa, FL

The Sloth Bear EED promotes natural behavior by allowing the bears to forage for food in their zoo habitats. Both the indoor and outdoor devices can be activated by the bears through a button (switch), by their caretakers, or automatically by an internal timer.

The indoor device has a food dispenser that, when activated, deposits a measured amount of food into a feeder that simulates a termite-filled log. The bear uses its natural termite sucking behavior to get the food out. The outdoor device uses the same dispenser, but uses air power to scatter food pellets and seeds throughout their habitat promoting foraging behavior

Don setting up a test for the sloth bear enrichment

Sloth Bear Facts:

The sloth bear is native to India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Average lifespan is 20 to 25 years and can weigh over 300 lbs.  Sloth bears do not hibernate and are not related to sloths

Sloth bears’ diet primarily consists of termites and ants.  These bears are noisy and busy animals. They grunt and snort as they pull down branches to get fruit, dig for termites, and forage with their long, curved claws under debris for grubs and beetles. Sloth Bears have a strong sense of smell and make a snuffling, vacuum sound when sucking up insects

Sloth bears have a shaggy coat that is usually black with a ‘Y’ shaped white color down their chests. Females will have one or two cubs and will raise them for the first 2-3 years of their lives.  The male stays with his family and helps take care of the cubs.   Unlike other bear species they routinely carry their cubs on their backs.