Bookmark and Share
Kartik Sloth Bear (left) with Hani Sloth Bear (far right).
Have you met the new bear in town, Kartik? A male sloth bear, Kartik is an energetic two-year-old that loves to tear things up…exhibit walls, trees, grass…you name it! Kartik came from Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas, as part of a breeding recommendation from the Sloth Bear Species Survival Plan program. He will be paired up with eight-year-old female Hani, a dominant sloth bear who has resided at Brookfield Zoo for a while now. If the two successfully breed, hopefully Brookfield Zoo’s sloth bear population will double—females often give birth to twins!

The story in the wild is not so optimistic, however. The number of sloth bears in the wild has decreased by 50% in the last 30 years, and they are losing habitat in recent times at a rapid rate in their native India, mainly due to logging of the sal and kahir. These trees are the bear's prime sources for locating food and give them a place to hang out…but the forests are being cut down to make tables, chairs and other home furnishings.

How can you help? If you make sustainable wood purchases here, it helps stabilize populations by keeping their home intact in the wild. Look for furniture that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which promotes responsible management of the Earth’s forests.

You can currently find Kartik and Hani sloth bears residing near the Big Cats at Fragile Kingdom in the northeaster corner of the zoo.