Sloth Bear Size Explained & Compared With Other Bears

Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Sloth Bear Height & Length

Sloth Bear Size

The sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is a bear species found in South Asian forests. These are small and usually black, with a long shaggy coat, particularly over the shoulders.

Coming to their height and length, an adult sloth bear stands 2 ft 0 in – 3 ft 0 in (60-92 cm) tall at the shoulder and is 4 ft 7 in – 6 ft 3 in, in length (1.4-1.9 m). 

In addition to being smaller than the average male, the average female has more fur between their shoulders.

Size Feets Meters 
MaleHeight: 2’6”-3’    
Length: 5’6”-6’
Height: 0.76- 0.91 m
Length:1.7-1.85 m
FemaleHeight: 2’-2’6”
Length: 5’-5’6”
Height: 0.61- 0.76 m
Length: 1.52-1.68 m

Sloth Bear Weight

The Sloth bears are a medium-sized bear species with a stocky physique and muscular legs. 

The male sloth bears may weigh up to 310 pounds, and females can weigh up to 210 pounds. 

On average, the Sloth Bear weight can vary from 176 to 320 lb (80 to 145 kg) for males and 121 to 231 lb (55 to 105 kg) for females of average size. 

However, Males and females with exceptional size can reach 423 lb  (192 kg) and 273 lb (124 kg), respectively.

Furthermore, whenever these are threatened, they raise their hind legs and flash their powerful foreclaws to scare their enemies.1

Weight Pounds Kilograms 
Male 176 to 320 lb80 to 145 kg
Female 121 to 231 lb55 to 105 kg

Sloth Bear Paw & Teeth Size

Due to their decreased consumption of vegetation, sloth bears have smaller premolars and molars than other bears. 

The teeth of adult sloth bears are often in poor condition which is because of the amount of soil they gobble up and chew when eating insects. Similar to other ant-eating animals, the rear of the palate is long and wide.

Additionally, sloth bears have unusually huge paws that feature sharp, sickle-shaped claws which are about 10 cm (4 in) long. These claws are used to dig into termite mounds as well as to dig out other insects or seeds. 

They are also useful for defending against attackers. Moreover, Their toe pads are linked by a hairless web, which facilitates swimming. 

Sloth Bear Baby Size

At birth, the sloth bear baby is exceptionally tiny and blind. They open their eyes at 3 weeks and can walk at approximately 4 weeks.

The diminutive size is common, with sloth bears having an average birth weight of 10.5-17.5 ounces (300-500 g). 

Unlike other bear species, sloth bear moms carry the baby sloth bears on their backs until they are around 2 months old. These cubs will nurse for around a year. 

They leave the den at roughly 9 to 12 weeks and stay with their mother for two to three years before venturing out on their own, which is a considerable period in comparison to other species of bears.

Sloth Bear Full Size

As we have mentioned before, sloth bears are small to medium-sized bear species. They can reach their full size at around 24 to 36 months of age. 

And at their mature stage, you can expect them to approximately reach a full height of about 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) in length, 2 to 3 feet (0.5 to 1 meter) in height at the shoulder, and weigh about 200 to 300 pounds on average (90 to 140 kilograms).

Sloth Bear Litter Size

The litter size of sloth bears is not exceptional, they have a common litter size like the other bears, which is approximately one to three cubs in a single litter. 

However, sloth bear mothers rarely birth three cubs. Additionally, the Gestation period of sloth bear mothers lasts 210 days, and you can usually find them giving birth to the young ones in caves or rocks which means their den.

Sloth Bear Size Comparison To Human

Sloth bear size compared with human

Although sloth bears try to avoid interaction with humans as much as possible, they have a low tolerance for people when they come into contact. 

Whenever sloth bears decide to attack; their aggressive attitude, as well as their weaponry of long sharp claws on their strong forepaws (meant for digging) and four huge canines, have been proved exceedingly dangerous to humans. 

As a result, we must understand how harmful they might be. The simplest method to determine is to compare sizes.

As we have mentioned previously, an adult sloth bear can reach up to 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) in length, 2 to 3 feet (0.5 to 1 meters) in height at the shoulder, and weigh about 200 to 300 pounds on average (90 to 140 kilograms).

Comparing this with the average human weight is around 110 to 154 lbs (50 – 70 kgs) with a height of 159.5 cm (5 ft 2.8 in) – 171 cm (5 ft 7.3 in). By these specifics, we can conclude that sloth bears are smaller or on par with us in size.

However, you must not mistake this variation of size for power too. These bears have strong muscles with exceptional attacking tendencies. 

They are also capable of fighting off tigers. It has been found that sloth bear attacks are far more injuring and dangerous to humans than any other wild animals. Nevertheless, the data reports that there are fewer human fatalities with sloth bear attacks, which means the chances of survival are more.

Sloth Bear Vs Grizzly Size Comparison

Sloth bear size compared with grizzly bear

The average grizzly bear is around 6 feet, 5 inches long, although they can range from 3.6 feet to 9 feet in length. 

Adult male grizzlies often weigh 400-790 lb, while females weigh 290-400 lb. Coastal grizzlies, on the other hand, weigh an average of 899 pounds and can weigh more than 1,000 pounds at their maximum.

And As we have seen previously, an adult sloth bear can reach up to 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) in length, 2 to 3 feet (0.5 to 1 meters) in height at the shoulder, and weigh about 200 to 300 pounds on average (90 to 140 kilograms). 

With these details, we can determine that grizzly bears are significantly bigger and more powerful than sloth bears. As sloth bears are lankier and much smaller compared to robust and muscular grizzly bears.

Size Grizzly bearsSloth bears 
Length 5’6”-9 ft5’6”-6’ft
Height 3’-4’6” ft2’6”-3’ ft
Weight 300-800 lb200-320 lb

Sloth Bear Vs Polar Bear Size Comparison

Sloth bear size compared with polar bear

The largest sloth bear is smaller than the smallest polar bear. Polar bears are well-known for being the world’s biggest bears. 

Male polar bears generally weigh 770-1500 pounds, while females weigh 330-550 pounds. 

Males often stand between 7.10 feet and 9.10 feet tall, while females stand between 5.11 feet and 7.10 feet inches tall. 

When we compare a polar bear to an adult sloth bear, which is around 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) long, 2 to 3 feet (0.5 to 1 meter) tall at the shoulder, and weighs about 200 to 300 pounds on average (90 to 140 kilograms). One can easily conclude that polar bears are much stronger and more powerful than sloth bears.

Size Polar bearsSloth bears 
Length 7’10”-9’10” ft5’6”-6’ ft 
Height 4-5’3” ft2’6”-3’ ft
Weight 330-1500 lb200-320 lb

Sloth Bear Vs Tiger vs Lion Size Comparison

Sloth bear size compared with tiger and lion

Tigers are larger than the majority of lions and sloth bears. The biggest tigers may weigh up to 660 pounds, stand 4 feet tall at the shoulder, and grow to be around 12 feet long. 

While the largest lions may weigh 500 pounds and grow to be 9.6 feet long. Given the poor vision and hearing sense of sloth bears, both of these are far more powerful attackers than sloth bears. They are also significantly slower than both tigers and lions. 

As we have mentioned previously, The sloth bear stands 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) tall, 2 to 3 feet (0.5 to 1 meter) tall at the shoulder, and weighs 200 to 300 pounds on average (90 to 140 kilograms) making them much smaller than both lion and tiger.

Size TigerLionSloth Bears 
Length5’3”-6’5” ft4’7”-6’5”ft5’6”-6’ft
Height 2.5-3.6 ft2.9-3.9 ft2’6”-3’ft
Weight 220-650 lb265-500 lb200-320 lb


And that was everything you need to know about the size of a Sloth bear. I hope this article was helpful enough and you got something valuable from it.

Thank You For Reading!

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