The Sloth Bear Cubs at Brookfield Zoo Are Pretty Cute (for Sloth Bears)

By Trupti Rami

This afternoon, Brookfield Zoo introduced two sloth bear cubs, one male and one female. The new arrivals, who are not yet named, were born January 20, 2013, and have been off exhibit until today.

What is a sloth bear? Sloth bears were first classified as a sloth in the 1700s but renamed as a bear in 1810. More bear than sloth, these omnivores can grow five to six feet tall and weigh 120 to 310 pounds. Think Baloo from the Jungle Book rather than an ancestor of Sid the sloth from Ice Age. But, they are similar to sloths: slow-moving tree-climbers with characteristically long claws used to dig out and eat insects, especially termites. Sloth bears are mostly found in South Asian forests, while slothshail from Central and South America. They are also the only bears to carry young on their backs.

These three-month-old cubs are pretty adorable, too. See for yourself.

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This article appeared on Chicagomag.com on May 8, 2013, in The 312 blog.

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