Sloth Bear plays with its handler in Assam

A domesticated Sloth bear gets upset (or plays?) with its handler, in Assam, India. The sloth bear or Ursus ursinus or Melursus ursinus, also known as the labiated bear, is a nocturnal insectivorous species of bear found wild within the Indian subcontinent. The sloth bear evolved from ancestral brown bears during the Pleistocene and shares features found in insect-eating mammals through convergent evolution. The population isolated in Sri Lanka is considered as a subspecies. Unlike brown and black bears, sloth bears have lankier builds, long shaggy coats that form a mane around the face, long sickle shaped claws, and a specially adapted lower lip and palate used for sucking insects. Sloth bears breed during spring and early summer and give birth near the beginning of winter. They feed on termites, honeybee colonies and fruits. Sloth bears sometimes attack humans that encroach on their territory. Historically, humans have drastically reduced their habitat and diminished their population by hunting them for food and products such as their baculum and claws. These bears have been used as performing pets due to their tameable nature. Adult sloth bears may travel in pairs, with the males being gentle with cubs. They may fight for food. They walk in a slow, shambling motion, with their feet being set down in a noisy, flapping motion. They are capable of galloping faster than running humans. Although they appear slow and clumsy, sloth bears are excellent climbers. They climb to feed and rest, though not to escape enemies, as they prefer to stand their ground. They are capable of climbing on smooth surfaces and hang upside down like sloths. They are good swimmers, and primarily enter water to play. Sounds such as gurgling or humming are made by bears resting or sucking their paws. Sows will emit crooning sounds to their cubs. The species is the most vociferous when mating, and make loud, melodious calls when doing so. Sloth bears do not hibernate. They make their day beds out of broken branches in trees, and will rest in caves during the wet season. Sloth bears are the most nocturnal of bears, though sows become more active in daytime when with cubs. The breeding season for sloth bears varies according to location. In India, they mate in April, May and June, and give birth in December and early January. Assam is a north-eastern state of India surrounded by six of the other Seven Sister States: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya. Assam is known for its exquisite natural resources, geography and its important role in India's freedom struggle. The capital city of Assam is Dispur, a specialized city circuit region located on the inside of its largest metropolis, Guwahati. Assam is particularly famous for its natural beauty. The landscape includes tea gardens, the river Brahmaputra, and many historical monuments and temples. Swami Vivekananda once said that, "next only to Kashmir, Assam is the most beautiful place in India". A state with an abundance of forest, Assam also has five national parks, around half a dozen other wildlife sanctuaries, and is home to two-thirds of the population of the unique one-horned rhino. When it comes to wildlife, Assam too has successfully conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction, along with the tiger and numerous species of birds, and it provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. It is becoming an increasingly popular destination for wildlife tourism, and Kaziranga and Manas are both World Heritage Sites. Another aspect that separates Assam from the rest of Indian states is the rich composite culture of the state. Assamese constitute the majority of the state's population but the state has over two dozen other big and small tribal groups with many of them having their own language, writing system, dance forms and traditions. Assam comprises the Brahmaputra and the Barak river valleys along with the Karbi Anglong and the Dima Hasao district with an area of 30,285 square miles. Assam also shares international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh. Source: Wikipedia This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... Reach us at wfi @ vsnl.com and admin@wildfilmsindia.com