Does this look like the face of a baby eater? Well, it is.
The Washington Post certainly stresses the appealing aspects of slothbears in its article about a baby-eating slothbear mama named Khali.
But sloth bears are highly intelligent animals, who keepers say have complex emotions — including fear and outrage — and vibrant personalities, and who enjoy watching videos.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa. They like watching videos? Tell me more! WHAT KIND OF VIDEOS?
The first cub was eaten by the mother 20 minutes after it was born. The second was consumed Jan. 6, and the third was “pulled” from the mother a short time later.
Awwwwwwwwwwww. That’s no fun. The cubs were sick and the mama bear ate ’em.
The Daily Mail, UK’s classiest newspaper, also makes an odd attempt at combining the cuteness and the eating of babies:
Warning: Cuteness overload! Baby sloth bear is being raised by humans after mother ATE her first two cubs 20 minutes after giving birth
Which part of that is cute, Daily Mail?
Even-less-fun facts about slothbears:
They are often captured for the dancing bear trade and for “bile farms,” where their gall bladders are tapped for bile used in traditional medicine practices.
Motherfucking human beings.
Even though I like zoos, my stupid brain couldn’t help but think about Beloved. Maybe it’s better to eat your young than let them live with creatures who would tap you for bile. I got kinda worked up about this slothbear tragedy but then realized slothbear mama was probably not making that kind of decision.
I do believe (based on observation and reading actual science, albeit layperson science) that animals have as many emotions as we do. I doubt they have existential crises and kudos to them. I would be interested in knowing whether eating the babies was just a run of the day, eating a snack kinda thing or if it involved any regret/angst or any of the complex emotions cited by the slothbear zookeepers quoted above.
Photo of rescued cub.
But anyway, to answer the question, yes an animal that eats its own young can still be cute. And appealing.
Slothbears are just like you! They ride bikes.