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5 things you might not know about sloth bears

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is celebrating its first sloth bear cub born in 30 years, named Shala. Did you know that sloth bear cubs ride on the backs of their mom when they’re young? Interesting, right? If you want to learn more about this species, keep reading.blog31

1) Sloth bears mainly reside in India and are considered a vulnerable species according to the IUCN Red List. Residential and commercial development pose some of the biggest threats to these creatures in the wild.

2) Known for their large lips, sloth bears use them to help suck up ants and grub from the ground. They make a snuffling, vacuum noise when they’re eating bugs. Helping them with their eating habits, a sloth bear’s nostrils can close completely, preventing bugs and dust from getting in their nose during their search for insects.

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3) Sloth bears are mostly nocturnal, sleeping during the day and looking for food at night.

4) The sloth bear got its name from European zoologist, George Shaw, who thought the animal’s long claws and unusual teeth resembled that of a sloth.

5) Chances are Shala the cub won’t be the first sloth bear you’ve seen before. Believe it or not, the beloved character of Baloo in Disney’s The Jungle Book is in fact, a sloth bear.

Be sure to visit Shala in Wilderness Trek this summer.

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