What do we normally expect to see prior to a park safari? Obviously a big cat! But we rarely anticipate moments shared with one particular rare and elusive mammal – the Sloth Bear.
This evening gave us an opportunity of one such unpredictable sighting. The weather was pleasant and lighting just perfect to view all the aspects of Nature at her best. While enjoying this pleasant evening we reached an open area of grassland. Into our view came the rounded rear of a big Sloth Bear meandering along. We watched silently, and after a while he started digging the earth with his long claws, blowing away dust and debris to suck up a steady stream of white ants – vacuum cleaner fashion!
After having completed his feast, he walked few meters and then he stood up against a tree, turned his back and started rubbing his back on its bark. We wondered why he was doing this, and decided he was perhaps marking his home range.
Once again he showed us his tail, and slowly disappeared into the undergrowth. We just stood and stared – stunned at our good fortune.
This turned out to be a very special and delightful safari after all, and I couldn’t have asked for more – for my guests, nor for me personally.
Naturalist at Singinawa Jungle Lodge