The Indian sloth bear is gradually coming to be accustomed to his open-air cage, reported the press service of the Moscow Zoo. The fact is, the couple of Indian sloth bears that arrived in Moscow in late April was kept under quarantine until just recently. But now, Muscovites have a chance to see the he-bear, whose name is Balu, strolling out for a walk out of his closed lair.
In the meantime, the she-bear proved to be more shy and stays inside the lair. The workers at the Zoo say getting accustomed to a closed lair and then to an open-air cage is a natural process that needn't be sped up.
In their natural habitat, Indian sloth bears mostly feed on insects. At the Zoo, they get different food mixes.
The pair of bears, who were donated to Moscow by the Sri Lankan Zoo, will participate in the find-a-guardian program that's being implemented at the Moscow Zoo. The "guardian" is a person who pays for the maintenance of his "ward," getting moral satisfaction from the process as well as an opportunity to decorate the animal's cage with a plaque saying "So-and-so is the Guardian of this pair of bears." Daily maintenance of one bear is estimated at 6-8 dollars. The sum includes feeding and taking care of the animal.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969