Sloth bear

Help Name Cleveland's Baby Sloth Bear

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After waiting four months for its new Sloth Bear cub to emerge from the den, staff at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo gave the cub its first checkup. They learned that the cub is a female!

59932330_10161821048925002_6008209370754580480_nPhoto Credit: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Born on January 14, the cub is the first to be born at the zoo in 30 years. The cub’s parents are mom Shiva and dad Balawat, and this is the first cub for both. ZooBorns reported on the cub’s birth here.

Fans are invited to help name the little cub by visiting the Sloth Bear habitat at the zoo, or by going online and make a donation to the Future for Wildlife Fund. You can choose one of the following names by midnight on May 27:

  • Lali, meaning darling
  • Nisha, meaning night
  • Shala, an homage to mom Shiva and dad Balawat

The names reflect the native home of Sloth Bears in India.

The cub stays close to Shiva for now, and she will ride on mom’s back until she is about six months old. As an adult, the cub will weigh around 300 pounds.

Sloth Bears have flexible snouts which help to suck up grubs and termites from trees. Sloth Bears also feed on fruits, flowers, sugar cane, and honey.

Sloth Bears are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Factors such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict threaten Sloth Bears’ survival. The zoo participates in a project to protect Sloth Bears in Nepal, where populations have plummeted in recent years. Donations made through the naming contest go toward this project.

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First Sloth Bear Born at Cleveland Zoo in 30 Years

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo recently announced the birth of a Sloth Bear cub to 4-year-old mom, Shiva, and 13-year-old dad, Balawat. The cub is the first Sloth Bear born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 30 years.

The cub was born on January 14 and is the first offspring for both mom and dad. The cub currently weighs approximately six pounds and is learning how to walk. Both mom and cub are doing well but will den for several weeks before they will be visible to the public.

The cub’s gender has not yet been determined, but Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will continue to provide updates on the Sloth Bear family and details on the public’s chance to help name the cub.

54432826_10161620701760002_3579150759205273600_oPhoto Credits: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus) can weigh up to 300 pounds when fully grown. The species has several distinctive features and behaviors. Their unique flexible snouts act as a vacuum cleaner in sucking up termites or grubs from trees. Aside from insects, Sloth Bears also eat fruits, flowers, sugar cane and honey. Young Sloth Bears will ride on their mother’s back, by clinging to their long fur, till up to six months of age.

Sloth Bears are listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is currently supporting a project to protect Sloth Bears in Nepal, where populations have declined dramatically in recent decades due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and poaching.


Baby Sloth Bears Are Tiny Adventurers

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After months of cozying up with mom Tasha in the den, the Woodland Park Zoo’s 13-week-old Sloth Bear cubs took their first steps outdoors. The tiny adventurers explored all around, trying to climb on everything. The best perch of all? Mom's back!

Until now, fans have only been able to see the two male cubs via cameras installed in the maternity den. 

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DDow_3-25-18-SlothBearCubs-6Photo Credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

“We’re very excited to see Tasha and her cubs out on exhibit,” said Pat Owen, animal care manager at Woodland Park Zoo. “The fact that they’ve started to go outside the maternity den and explore is a good indicator the cubs are healthy and thriving. At this time, the cubs and mom are still exploring and adjusting to their new surroundings. They will still have access to the off-view maternity den as they make this transition.”

The two male cubs, born December 27, 2017, are the offspring of 13-year-old mother Tasha and 17-year-old father Bhutan.
 
Sloth Bears are native to the lower elevations of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. There are currently less than 10,000 remaining in the wild. Their survival is challenged by fragmented populations, competition with other animals (particularly humans) for space and food, deforestation, and the illegal trade in Bear parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicines.

For more than 400 years, Sloth Bears were targeted for human exploitation to perform as “Dancing Bears;” in 2009, the last Dancing Bear in India was released. Woodland Park Zoo is a participant in the Sloth Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program under the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) that ensures genetic diversity and demographic stability among Sloth Bears in North American zoos. Prior to the birth of these cubs, Woodland Park Zoo had five Sloth Bear births; two sets of twins and one cub which did not survive.
 
Woodland Park Zoo supports Wildlife SOS in their Sloth Bear maternal and day denning research project focused on Sloth Bears in the wild and in zoos. The project aims to learn more about day dens (used by Sloth Bears as a place to rest in safety during daylight hours), and the maternal dens used to give birth to and raise cubs.


 


Sloth Bear Cub Hitches a Ride

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Back in February, ZooBorns featured news of the birth of ‘Niko’, the Sloth Bear cub, at NaturZoo Rheine. The young guy is now on public display in the Zoo’s outdoor exhibit, and he is enjoying one of the perks of being a Sloth Bear cub---traveling, in style, on mom 'Devi's' back! 

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NaturZooRheine_4_NikoPhoto Credits: NaturZoo Rheine

After mating, the gestation period, for Sloth Bears, lasts from 6 to 7 months. The mother will usually give birth to one to two hairless, blind cubs. Mom will remain in the cave with the cubs for the first 6 to 10 weeks, living mainly on her body reserves. When the time comes to leave their den, the cubs will ride on mothers back to and from the feeding grounds. The mother bear will usually carry her young in this manner for about 6 months, until the cubs are almost one-third her size.

The cub was born on December 6, 2014, but the news of the birth was kept under-cover in order to allow much needed bonding time with the mother. Remote control cameras, in the den, showed the mother was doing an outstanding job with her new offspring, during this time.  In early February, it was determined the cub was a male, and Zoo staff named the new little guy ‘Niko’.

Sloth Bears, originating from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, are rare sights in zoos. There are just 25 individuals kept in European zoos, and these are managed by a breeding-programme (EEP). This season, only Zoo Leipzig and NaturZoo Rheine are lucky enough to have successful births of this unique bear species, which is characterized by a shaggy black coat, long claws and long snout.

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Sloth Bear Born at NaturZoo Rheine

IMG_7180pNaturZoo Rheine is happy to announce the birth of a Sloth Bear! 

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12215_gPhoto Credits: NaturZoo Rheine

The cub was born on December 6, 2014, but the news of the birth was kept under-cover in order to allow much needed bonding time with the mother. Remote control cameras, in the den, showed the mother was doing an outstanding job with her new offspring, during this time.  In early February, it was determined the cub is a male. Zoo staff have named the new little guy ‘Niko’.

Sloth Bears, originating from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, are rare sights in zoos. There are just 25 individuals kept in European zoos, and these are managed by a breeding-programme (EEP). This season, only Zoo Leipzig and NaturZoo Rheine are lucky enough to have successful births of this unique bear species, which is characterized by a shaggy black coat, long claws and long snout.

NaturZoo Rheine has cared for Sloth Bears since 2009 when a new state-of-the-art bear-enclosure was opened. There was a first birth in December 2013, but the young was found dead two days after birth. Hopefully, Niko will be the first successful birth and rearing of a Sloth Bear in Rheine.

The parents of Niko are both zoo-born themselves: Father “Franz” was born in Leipzig Zoo in 2005, and mother “Devi” originates from Zoo Berlin, where she was born in 2008.

It will take several more weeks until the young bear will start to explore the outdoor-enclosure. So far he is exercising in the indoor-rooms.

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