SCIENTIFIC NAME: Melursus ursinus
HABITAT: Primarily low altitude dry forests and grasslands. Sri Lanka and India extending north to the Himalayan foothills.
CONSERVATION STATUS: Vulnerable
The animals got their name in the 1700s when the hide of a sloth bear was brought to Europe with a description that the animal had a long “trunk-like” snout and was often found hanging upside down from tree branches. From this information it was assumed to be a type of sloth and named as a “Bear Sloth”. In 1810 a live specimen was brought to Paris, identified as a bear and renamed Sloth Bear.