Sloth Bears Updates Sep 19, 2013

Our energetic sloth bear cub Hank is nine months old today! He enjoys exploring on his own and testing the limits with Hana and his keepers, but he's not yet fully independent from mom.The duo continues to have long play sessions, followed by naps. Hank now weighs in at around 90 pounds, so even though he tries to ride on her back, Hana no longer allows him to climb aboard. Hank is eating a full diet and nursing from Hana occasionally. It's a way for him to bond with mom and is important for his emotional development.

Ever since Hana first brought Hank out of the den, when he was around two or three months old, keepers have been building trust and training him to participate in medical exams. On the day of his first exam, Hank voluntarily separated from Hana for a while, allowing keepers and veterinary staff to conduct a full exam. Keepers are now training him to show his paws, open his mouth, and stand up to show his belly, which allows keepers to examine him and help him stay healthy.

Our sloth bears tend to be more active in spring and fall and really enjoy people-watching when the crowds pick up. If you are interested in seeing the Zoo's sloth bears in action, visit Asia Trail at 10:30 every morning to watch a feeding and training demonstration!