News: 'India's oldest' sloth bear in captivity dies at 36 in Bhopal Zoo


What's in the news?

       A 36-year-old male sloth bear died due to multi-organ failure at a zoo-cum-animal rescue centre in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal.


Key takeaways:

       This bear named ‘Bablu’ was the oldest one in captivity in the country at present.


Sloth Bear:

       Sloth bears are found in Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan and Nepal, predominantly in lowland areas.



     Sloth bears primarily eat termites and ants and unlike other bear species, they routinely carry their cubs on their backs.

     They are also very fond of honey, hence their alternative name of “honey bear”.

     Sloth bears do not hibernate.



1. Indian Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus ursinus): The bigger, well known and widespread of the subspecies, it is found in areas with forest cover, low hills bordering the outer range of the Himalayas from Punjab to Arunachal Pradesh.

2. Sri Lankan Sloth Bear: (Melursus ursinus inornatus)The Sri Lankan sloth bear is smaller than the nominate subspecies. It is found in the northern and eastern lowlands of Sri Lanka.


       It is a forest-dwelling member of the family Ursidae (comprising 8 species of bears) that inhabits tropical or subtropical regions of India and Sri Lanka.

Protection Status:

        IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

        CITES list: Appendix I

        Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I