The Sloth Bear is a wonderful shambling presence in the jungles of Tadoba reserve. Hairy, often dishevelled, playful, their dark features set against black fur make them difficult subjects to photograph. Described as a ‘jungle bum’ in the Disney film these bears feed mainly on termites, but nonetheless pose a real danger to villagers, and the unwary tourist, so it is best to keep your distance. These animals and the local villagers both collect the fleshy edible flowers of the mahua tree, and in the half‐light of dawn, the locals may surprise the notoriously short‐sighted and slightly deaf sloth bears, thus provoking an attack.
The large claws and small eyes can be seen clearly as this bear cools down in the searing heat of a hot summer day.