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Sloth Bear Wisdom Includes:
Being Grandmother to the Bear
Building to Good Families
Known as the "Un-bearlike" Bear, Sloth Bear defies
most people's ideas about Bears. Because of
her slow gait and ability to live in trees, Sloth Bear was classified
with Sloths. Adding to her
sloth-like characteristics, she also specializes in eating Termites
and Ants*. Because she lives in
the tropics, Sloth Bear does not hibernate like other Bears.
However, Sloth Bear is from the oldest lineage of True Bears.
She diverged from the main
lineage of Bears about six million years ago. Scientists think
that glaciers blocked her passage
out of India. In her migration North, Sloth Bear was stopped
at the foothills of the Himalayas.
Sloth Bear adapted to life in the Tropics by eating fruits and
Insects. By dragging her long front
claws, she digs into Termite mounds. When Termites rush outside,
Sloth Bear vacuums them up
with her large mobile lips. In addition, her vacuuming is made
easier by the lack of upper
incisors in her jaw.
Sloth Bear lives a rich life. Spending time with her friends,
she howls, roars, squeals, yelps,
rattles, and gurgles with them. Even when she suns herself in
a tree, Sloth Bear buzzes and hums.
When she is out and about with her family, Sloth Bear cub rides
on mother's back. Father Sloth
Bear travels with them as well.
Sloth Bear changes people's perception of Bears. In fact, she
asks them to expand their notions of
life. Regardless of what people think, Sloth Bear is all Bear,
even when she is buzzing in her
*For more insight into this creature-teacher, I would suggest
that you take a look at the Medicine
of Ant and perhaps even the characteristics of Termites as well,
since they are both part of the
diet of a Sloth Bear.
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