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.