Sloth bears are under threat in the Indian subcontinent and they are often eaten for their meat or hunted for their claws, which are considered lucky. A FARMER has somehow survived horrific head injuries he suffered from a terrifying three-hour bear mauling. Gary Brown, in his Great Bear Almanac, lists over 25 different sounds in 16 different contexts. , Officers in British India often kept sloth bears as pets. (Eds.). This is reinforced by the fact the animal was found so close to the village. When people living near an aggressive population of sloth bears were armed with rifles, it was found that it was an ineffective form of defense, since the bear apparently charges and knocks the victim back (often knocking the rifle away) before the human has the chance to defend himself. , The sloth bear's global range includes India, the southern lowlands of Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The sloth bear inhabits the tropical lowland forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan, ... Cubs may face risks from predators such as tigers, leopards and wolves, but mothers will viciously defend their young with the aid of their long, sharp claws.  They were once common in the towns of Calcutta, where they often disturbed the horses of British officers. , Sloth bears are sympatric with Asiatic black bears in northern India, and the two species, along with the sun bear, coexist in some of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. , Sloth bears may have reached their current form in the Early Pleistocene, the time when the bear family specialised and dispersed. When next I remember anything, the bear's weight was on me, and he was biting my leg. Ratnayeke, S., Van Manen, F. T., Pieris, R., & Pragash, V. S. (2014). They are also found together in Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram, in the hills south of the Brahmaputra River, the only places occupied by all three bear species. , The population of sloth bears grows when they live in high-profile reserves that protect species, such as tigers and elephants.  As tigers are known to mimic the calls of sambar deer to attract them, sloth bears react fearfully even to the sounds made by deer themselves. The person who was killed by the bear has been identified as a 45-year-old man named Somanna. Sloth bears probably arose during the Middle Pliocene and evolved in the Indian subcontinent. , Adult sloth bears may travel in pairs. According to Anchorage Daily News, “Wes Perkins is whole in body and still badly disfigured.  When feeding their cubs, sows are reported to regurgitate a mixture of half-digested jack fruit, wood apples, and pieces of honeycomb. Shanmugam, A. Sloth bear mauls Karnataka farmer to death, eats body in horrific attack The farmer had reportedly ventured into a wooded area of his property in Karnataka's remote Madhugiri village while searching for aloe vera when the attack took place. The sloth bear is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides for their legal protection.  They are good swimmers, and primarily enter water to play. Warning - thread BLACK BEAR RIPS MAN'S FACE OFF = *** VERY GRAPHIC ** = might contain content that is not suitable for all ages. Young sloth bears often play in water. Fischer called it Chondrorhynchus hirsutus, while Tiedemann named it Ursus longirostris.  This feature, which is also present in Asian black bears and sun bears, is thought to serve as a threat display, as all three species are sympatric with tigers (tigers usually do not carry out attacks on an adult bear if the bear is aware or facing the cat). Sloth bears are very resistant to body shots, and can charge hunters if wounded, though someone of steady nerves could score a direct hit from within a few paces of a charging bear. Litters usually consist of one or two cubs, or rarely three. This sticky substance hardens into a dark yellow, circular, bread-like mass which is fed to the cubs. The farmer's cries for help attracted a crowd to the scene who began to throw stones in the hope of scaring the animal away from the village. The bear was left sitting Somanna's body for four hours before officers arrived and shot the animal dead, Crowd: Sloth bears are under threat in the Indian subcontinent and they are often eaten for their meat or hunted for their claws, which are considered lucky. Last two dancing bears rescued from 'lifetime of suffering' in Nepal. 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Sloth bears were also occasionally speared on horseback. Behavior & habitat 3. Some were found to be blind from malnutrition. Others are taken into captivity, treated incredibly cruelly and used as performing pets.  To mark their territories, sloth bears scrape trees with their forepaws, and rub against them with their flanks. Directly managed reserves could conserve the sloth bear, hence such reserves must be supported.  Their sense of smell is strong enough to detect grubs 3 ft below ground. Intervals between litters can last two to three years. Bargali1'3, Naim Akhtar2'4, and N.P.S. The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is a myrmecophagous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent. Johnsingh, A. J. T., & Manjrekar, N. A fragment of fossilised humerus from the Pleistocene, found in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool Basin is identical to the humerus of a modern sloth bear.  Nominate bears in India were found to weigh average 93.2 kg (205 lb) in males and 83.3 kg (184 lb) per one study. The majority of sloth bears killed in forests were due to chance encounters with them during hunts for other game. Those who survived its attacks usually lost one or both eyes, some their noses while others had their cheeks bitten through. Sloth bears breed during spring and early summer and give birth near the beginning of winter. It was rather like having a tooth out with gas.  A total of 137 attacks (resulting in 11 deaths) occurred between April 1998 and December 2000 in the North Bilaspur Forest Division of Chhattisgarh. After it killed Somanna, the 12-year-old sloth bear turned on the crowd who had tried to intervene and savaged a 55-year-old manual worker named Thimmaiah, The Times of India reported. Sows gestate for 210 days, and typically give birth in caves or in shelters under boulders. The frightened animal attacked and nearly scalped her … Their head and mouth is highly distinct from that of a black bear with a longer, narrower skull shape (particularly the snout), loose-looking, flappier lips and paler muzzle colour. (1997). The majority of attacks were perpetrated by single bears, and occurred in kitchen gardens, crop fields, and in adjoining forests during the monsoon season. (2013). Identified only as a 45-year-old man named Somanna, the farmer is understood to have come face-to-face with the bear and, fearing for his life, attacked it with a machete. The animal retaliated, mauled Somanna to death and then began eating his remains. , Besides tigers there are few predators of sloth bears.Leopards can also be a threat, as they are able to follow sloth bears up trees. , Sloth bears are expert hunters of termites and ants, which they locate by smell. Sounds such as barks, screams, grunts, roars, snarls, whickers, woofs, and yelps are made when angered, threatening, or when fighting. Characteristics of sloth bear attacks and human casualties in North Bilaspur Forest Division, Chhattisgarh, India H.S. They primarily eat termites and ants and have also been called "labiated bears" because of their long lower lip and palate used for sucking insects. Personality and temperament 7. Does Lady Louise Windsor look like her great great grandmother Queen Mary? On arriving at an ant-hill, they scrape at the structure with their claws till they reach the large combs at the bottom of the galleries, and will disperse the dirt with violent puffs.  In Sri Lanka, the baculum of a sloth bear was once used as a charm against barrenness. , Charles Catton included the bear in his 1788 book Animals Drawn from Nature and Engraved in Aqua-tinta, describing it as an "animal of the bear-kind" and saying it was properly called the "Petre Bear". The termites are then sucked up through the muzzle, producing a sucking sound which can be heard 180 m away. [The sloth bear] is also more inclined to attack man unprovoked than almost any other animal, and casualties inflicted by it are unfortunately very common, the victim being often terribly disfigured even if not killed, as the bear strikes at the head and face. We're witnessing such an incident for the first time in the state,' he added. However, their number in such activity is still large. The Sloth bear is a myrmecophagous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent.  Unlike some other bear species, which at times make mock charges at humans when surprised or frightened without making physical contact, sloth bears frequently appear to initiate a physical attack almost immediately. But due to wide-scale conversion of upland forests into tea and coffee plantations, it is now restricted to the northern and eastern lowlands. 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