Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is launching a naming opportunity for the sloth bear cub that was born in January 2019. The cub recently had its first check up with the animal care and veterinary teams where it was determined the cub is female.
The cub was the first sloth bear cub born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 30 years and the first offspring of mom, Shiva, and dad, Balawat.
To participate in the naming opportunity, guests can cast their vote at the sloth bear habitat at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo or online with a donation to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo through the Future for Wildlife Fund at futureforwildlife.org/slothbearnaming
for one of the following names:
• Lali: meaning darling
• Nisha: meaning night
• Shala: an homage to mom, Shiva, and dad, Balawat
Each of the names are unique to sloth bears native regions in India and each donation will support our work fighting illegal wildlife trafficking. The cubs name will be selected based on the name that receives the highest donation total. The public can cast their votes through midnight on Monday, May 27.
Sloth bears are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is currently supporting a project to protect sloth bears in Nepal, where populations have declined dramatically in recent decades due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and poaching.
Sloth bears can weigh up to 300 pounds when fully grown. The species has several distinctive features and behaviors. Their unique flexible snouts act as a vacuum cleaner in sucking up termites or grubs from trees. Aside from insects, sloth bears also eat fruits, flowers, sugar cane and honey. Young sloth bears, up to six months of age, will ride on their mother’s back by clinging to their long fur.