If youve ever had a bad hair day, these members of the bear family are living, walking proof that it can always be worse.
Are they bearlike sloths? Or slothlike bears? For quite some time, even researchers weren’t entirely sure. Let’s explore the facts on this Wildlife Wednesday.
These shaggy bears are natives to Southern Asia—more specifically, they can be found in the forests and grasslands of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Why are they threatened?
In spite of the fact that they live in such a warm place, these bears don’t seem to be doing all that hot—they’re listed as “Vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and their population numbers are still falling.
Habitat loss and degradation is a major concern for this species due to the expansion of agricultural areas and human settlements, the overharvesting of trees by forestry industries, and the construction of roads.
Poaching and trapping also pose a threat; various parts of the bears are used in traditional remedies or to ward off evil spirits, and cubs may be captured for use as “dancing bears” for the amusement of locals.