The Sri Lankan Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus)


The Sambhur is the largest deer found in the island and inhabit the dry zone forests as well as the mountains. It is the most common mammal seen in the Horton Plains National Park in the Central highlands.

The males are larger than the females rising about 1.3 meters at the shoulder. Antlers are found only in the males which grow to about 68 cm. These nocturnal deer prefer the forests and feed on leaves, grass and fruits. These animals are generally solitary creatures but small groups of females with young are seen such as in Horton Plains. They are known to live up to 10 years in captivity. Their gestation period is about 8 months with normally one fawn being born.