In news–Two full-grown sloth bears were rescued by forest officials in Jharkhand from Nomadic community members, popularly known as ‘madaris (earn a living by performing street acts with animals),’ following the intervention of politician-cum-animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi.
About Sloth bear-
- The sloth bear is a myrmecophagous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent.
- It feeds on fruits, ants and termites.
- It has also been called “labiated bear” because of its long lower lip and palate used for sucking up insects.
- It has a long, shaggy fur, a mane around the face, and long, sickle-shaped claws.
- It shares features of insectivorous mammals and evolved during the Pleistocene from the ancestral brown bear.
- Sloth bears breed during spring and early summer and give birth near the beginning of winter.
- Indian sloth bear(big) and Sri Lankan(small) sloth bear are the two subspecies of Sloth bears.
- When their territories are encroached upon by humans, they sometimes attack them.
- Historically, humans have drastically reduced these bears’ habitat and diminished their population by hunting them for food and products such as their bacula and claws.
- Sloth bears have been tamed and used as performing animals and as pets.
- It is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, mainly because of habitat loss and degradation.
- In India, they are protected under Schedule-1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.