Sloth Bear Falls Into Well
- A sloth bear drowned after falling into a well on private property in the area of Vellanad.
- The sloth bear, which is listed on Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, was darted at 9 a.m. It, however, slipped through the net that had been lowered as a precaution, plunged into the water, and drowned.
Points to Ponder
- A sloth bear that fell into a well on private property at Vellanad in the district drowned on Thursday morning.
- The sloth bear, protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, had been darted around 9 a.m. However, it slipped from the net that had been lowered as a safety measure, fell into the water and drowned.
- It was around 1.30 a.m. on Thursday that the Forest department received information that the bear had fallen into the well, presumably while trying to catch fowl.
- It was felt that leaving the animal in the well for long would endanger its life.
- However, bringing it out without darting was risky since the area was inhabited and more than 10 km from the forest.
- As a last resort, it was decided to dart the bear, the DFO said.
- However, the bear that had been trying to clamber the walls of the well to come out slipped into the water when the net underneath it tilted, the DFO said.
- As the dart started taking effect, the animal went inside the deep water.
- Minister for Forest A.K. Saseendran has announced a probe into the incident.
- The People for Animals has decided to move to court against the death of the bear.
- The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), often known as the Indian bear, is a myrmecophagous bear species found in India.
- It consumes fruits, ants, and termites.
- The IUCN Red List classifies it as vulnerable, owing primarily to habitat loss and degradation. Melursus is the only species in the genus.
- It’s also known as a “labiated bear” because of its lengthy bottom lip and palate, which it uses to suck up insects.
- It has long, shaggy fur, a mane around its face, and sickle-shaped claws. It is shorter than brown bears and Asian black bears.
- It has characteristics of insectivorous animals and diverged from the original brown bear during the Pleistocene.