04 October, 2006

The Bare (Bear) Necessities

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life


Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
I couldn't be fonder of my big home
The bees are buzzin' in the tree
To make some honey just for me
When you look under the rocks and plants
And take a glance at the fancy ants
Then maybe try a few

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
That's why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life

Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don't need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
Have I given you a clue ?

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!

So just try and relax, yeah cool it
Fall apart in my backyard
'Cause let me tell you something little britches
If you act like that bee acts, uh uh
You're working too hard

And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you


Name: Sloth Bear

Height: 140 - 190 cm

Weight: 80-140Kg(males)
55-95Kg(Females)

Life Span: 20 - 25 Years

Diet: Omnivorous

Distribution Range: Sri Lanka, Inda, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh

Conservation Status: Vulnerable


Sloth bears are stocky with long, shaggy, black hair and a while U or Y shaped marking on their chest. They have large lips, long tongue, pale muzzle and a well developed hook-like claws that enable them to climb trees and dig for termites.

Habitat
Thorn forests, wet forests and grasslands

Diet
They are omnivoros and they feed on ants, termites fruits, berries, bees, honey, carcasses and sometimes small vertebrates. Thy use their long claws to expose the insect's nests. Then they blw out the dirt and suck out the termites. They can close their nostrils to create vacuum and their mobile lips enable to scoop up the prey. Their hairless muzzles are thought to be adapted to the stings of the insects.

Behavior
They are nocturnal and happily share their home ranges (13Sq Km) with other sloth bears. The constant availability of food (insects, termites etc) mean that they do not undergo hibernation.

Reproduction
They mate and give birth at any time of the year. Females give birth to 1-2 cubs.

Conservation status
They are classified as vulnerable. They are hunted by farmers when they cause damage to the crops and also by hunters who seek gall bladders to use in medicines.
Sloth bear cubs in India are poached and tortured through brutal training methods to become "dancing bears". At less than 4 weeks of age, the cub is stolen from its mother who is often killed while trying to protect her cubs, sold to traders and middlemen who in turn sell them to Kalanders.
The cub's canine teeth are knocked out, a red hot iron needle pierces its muzzle and a coarse rope is pulled through. The wound is never allowed to heal and the cub will live in fear, hunger and pain, tied to a stake for the rest of its life.

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