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Bare Truth: Why We Need to Save Our Sloth Bears | Roundglass Sustain

This nocturnal bear, with powerful claws, is one of the most feared animals of the Indian jungle and yet its survival is threatened

It’s evening time, don’t go towards that hill, the bear will maul you” (Bhaiya shaam ho gayi, us pahadi par mat jaiyega, bhaluwa pakad leg), two passers-by returning with heavy loads of fuelwood on their shoulders warned me. I was surprised and curious and wanted to ask more questions, but they were in a hurry. It was the first time I’d heard of the presence of bears in the forests of Mirzapur. It was 2010 and I was pursuing my master's from Banaras Hindu University’s south campus located in the forested landscapes of Mirzapur. Surprisingly, when I discussed the incident with faculty members, no one had a clue, and instead, students were asked not to venture out into forests without a teacher’s permission. However, that didn’t affect me much and I was ever more curious to know more about the bears. My research led me to learn about the sloth bear and by the time I graduated in 2012, my love for sloth bears became almost an obsession. I was seriously concerned about their future as their habitats in Mirzapur were facing many problems due to deforestation, real estate development, and mining activities which were increasing day by day. However, my biggest worry was the lack of awareness about the species among people and the apathy of the government towards.....

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