The month of the Sloth Bear

31st May 2017

Sloth bear in Sri Lanka

A sub-species of the Sloth Bear, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear is a rare and highly threatened species with as few as 500 reported in the wild. Thankfully the National Parks of Wilpattu, and particularly Yala, preserve these unique mammals which are best spotted in the parks during the month of June.

With their distinct thick black coats and hairless snouts, the Sloth Bear is an omnivore which usually consumes insects which it finds in trees by using its long snout and powerful smell. The bear very rarely kills other animals and typically eats berries, nuts and roots alongside insects.

Due to its diet, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear is very much dependant on the lowland forests in the dry-zone of the island where its staple food sources are found. Unfortunately, the recent destruction of these zones across the island has left the bear highly threatened with as few as 500 thought to still be in the wild.

Spotting the rare Sri Lankan Sloth Bear

We visit Wilpattu and Yala National Park during most of our holidays to Sri Lanka.

Yala is well known as one of the best places to spot these usually elusive creatures and they can often be seen during the month of June climbing the large Palu trees to eat its sweet tasting fruit.

We would recommend anyone wanting to see the Sloth Bear to let us know and know that June usually offers the best time of year to spot the mammals. As well as Sloth Bears you may also spot leopards in Yala – with the national park boasting one of the highest leopard populations anywhere in the world.

We visit Yala National Park during our 8 Day Highlights Holiday of Sri Lanka and a trip is also a favourite among those travellers who we create a fully customised tour for. If you’re looking to visit Yala and see the Sloth Bear and other natural wonders, please contact us.

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