SLOTH BEARS – THE  BALLUS IN THE JUNGLE

An ideal way to explore the nature is a true getaway in to the woods. As I was on my vacation visiting Hampi, the magnificent temple town in Karnataka. With splendid temples and rock sculptures that borders the river Tungabhadra Hampi was a true pleasure to visit. To the southeast of Hampi was the home to Sloth bears – Daroji Bear Sanctuary. As we moved on from the temple town approaching the sloth bear forests, kids were all excited. The area seems to be open but during the day light, the bears were not seen. Plenty of deer were on the road grazing on their way home.

On the way we spotted a few peacocks, wild boars etc., which were an added attraction and an add on to our vacation. The bears were almost hidden inside the shrubs covered caves, so it was quite hard to find them. As we reached the area, we could spot the rocky terrain clad with sugar cane, Mahuva, ber fruits and many other crops that the bears were fond of. As these are honey-lovers, sugar was seen in plenty. To get a better view we climbed on to the top of a tree-house, where they provided binoculars. Kids were all excited and were in a hurry to spot the first bear.

“Mamma, see that is Ballu “, I looked at her quite surprisingly and scanned the area myself. To my delight I too found the bear and yes exactly like the one seen in the Jungle Book movie. I smiled and said “Yes, Its Ballu “.

Sloth bears are in the verge of extinction and they are quite fascinating creature on the earth. Unfortunately, only a few areas in the world protect these endangered species. Sloth Bear park in Bellary is one such space which is home to these honey-loving sloth bears.  We were privileged to see these sloth bears hang around for a while and enjoying the summer sun. Most of these were hiding under the shady leaves and inside the caves, hence we had to wait quite longer to spot a few. To enchant us in a while, there were jackals and beautiful bird species that were visiting in between.

Facts about Sloth bears

  1. They have a huge coat like fur on them that even covers the cute little faces.
  2. They have small eyes and ears hence they are not quite good in listening or even sighting, but they have a strong niche for smell. Sloth           Bears are excellent in closing their nostrils as they raid into the beehives or even while feeding on termites . 
  3. The bears are quite good in climbing the trees even with a heavy body.
  4. They are giant and huge.
  5. They hunt during the late evening and take rest the whole day.
  6. They are the only ones who carry their young ones on their back regularly, which shows their emotional attachments to their young-ones. 

Daroji Sloth Bear park is maintained well under the Karnataka Forest Department. The bears are protected in their own habitat. The forest department ensures that the safety of the inhabitants in and around the park.