Best time to travel to Sri Lanka

Sloth Bear in Sri Lanka 2024

These cute bears are best seen during the palu fruit season!

Best time: June–July

Sloth Bear
Sloth Bear

The sloth bear is the only bear species to be found in Sri Lanka. It lives mainly in lowland dry forests feeding on nuts, berries and insects. It rarely kills animals. Yala and Wasgomuwa National Parks are famous places to spot these mammals in Sri Lanka. These bears are considered to be most elusive among the "big five" animals, therefore your best chance to see them is when they are looking for their favourite snack - palu fruit, hence now.

Sloth bear an endangered animal, with a population less than 1000 individuals. Decreasing of dry forests is the main threat for sloth bear, because it depends on it for its food source.

Practical info

What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka to see Sloth Bears?

Sloth Bears come out of hiding to forage for palu fruit between June and July, making it the perfect time to witness their activity. While they can be spotted throughout the year, the national parks of Yala and Wasgomuwa provide the best opportunity. Spotting a Sloth Bear requires a trained eye, and hiring a guide will increase your chances. Show more

Where can I see Sloth Bears in Sri Lanka?

Sloth Bears reside in lowland dry forests, which are mainly found in Yala and Wasgomuwa National Parks. Wasgomuwa is known to have a more significant concentration of Sloth Bears. Employ the services of a guide to spot the majestic beasts, and have an experience of a lifetime. Show more

What do Sloth Bears eat?

Sloth Bears are capable of digesting both plants and animals. They source their primary nourishment from insects such as termites and ants, fruits, nuts, and honey. Sloth Bears are the only species of bears that primarily feed on insects. These diverse diets allow them to adapt to changes in food availability and survive their habitat's modifications. Show more

Why are Sloth Bears endangered?

Sloth Bears confront multiple threats that cause their endangerment, primarily habitat loss resulting from the destruction of dry forests. Sloth Bears have slowly begun to move to other areas from where they were commonly found, leading to human-wildlife conflicts and poaching. Further endangering them, their body parts, such as gallbladders, fetch high prices in traditional Chinese medicine. Protecting and conserving their natural habitats and promoting sustainable agriculture practices through education are crucial in Sloth Bears' preservation. Show more

How many Sloth Bears are there in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is home to less than 1,000 Sloth Bears, a low number that has prompted their classification as being vulnerable to extinction. Even though the exact figure is yet to be established, Sloth Bears are a cause of concern for conservationists. As they are faced with habitat destruction and poaching, it is more vital than ever to protect and preserve their habitats and promote awareness for sustainable agricultural practices. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych