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Axel Gomille has captured unique images of the elusive sloth bear, one of the least known large mammals on the planet (unless you count The Jungle Book's Baloo). During several years working in southern India, Axel has documented the fascinating behaviour of this declining species, the only bear which regularly carries its young piggy-back fashion.

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Portrait of a young adult male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Portrait of a young adult male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cub riding on its mother's back. Karnataka, India, April. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cub riding on its mother's back. Karnataka, India, April.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cub riding on her back. Karnataka, India, April. Did you know? The sloth bear is the only bear that carries its young on its back. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cub riding on her back. Karnataka, India, April. Did you know? The sloth bear is the only bear that carries its young on its back.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) female with large cubs (on right) trying to fight off rogue male. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) female with large cubs (on right) trying to fight off rogue male. Karnataka, India, March.
Portrait of a young male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). Karnataka, India, April. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Portrait of a young male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). Karnataka, India, April.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) lying on its back on rock. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) lying on its back on rock. Karnataka, India, March.
Portrait of an adult Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Portrait of an adult Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus) mother with cub clinging to her fur. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus) mother with cub clinging to her fur. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cubs playing. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cubs playing. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus), mother with cub peering at the photographer. Karnataka, India, April. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus), mother with cub peering at the photographer. Karnataka, India, April.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cub riding on her back. Karnataka, India, April. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cub riding on her back. Karnataka, India, April.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cubs. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cubs. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cub playing with with mother's paw. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cub playing with with mother's paw. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother and cubs with one riding on her back. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother and cubs with one riding on her back. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with two cubs riding on her back. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with two cubs riding on her back. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with young cub. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with young cub. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cubs. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) mother with cubs. Karnataka, India, March.
Young Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) sitting among rocks with a Peacock (Pavo cristatus) in the background. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Young Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) sitting among rocks with a Peacock (Pavo cristatus) in the background. Karnataka, India, March.
Two Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cubs watching a Peacock (Pavo cristatus). Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Two Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) cubs watching a Peacock (Pavo cristatus). Karnataka, India, March.
Encounter between sub-adult Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) and a Wild Boar (Sus scrofa). Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Encounter between sub-adult Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) and a Wild Boar (Sus scrofa). Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) adult male encounters Ruddy Mongoose (Herpestes smithii). Karnataka, India. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) adult male encounters Ruddy Mongoose (Herpestes smithii). Karnataka, India.
Old male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) in habitat. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Old male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) in habitat. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) climbing on tree. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) climbing on tree. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) in front of its cave hidden among rocks. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) in front of its cave hidden among rocks. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) foraging on rocks. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) foraging on rocks. Karnataka, India, March.
Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) sub-adults play-fighting. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) sub-adults play-fighting. Karnataka, India, March.
Subadult sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) peering over a rock. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Subadult sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) peering over a rock. Karnataka, India, March.
Portrait of a young adult male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) standing on hind legs by a rock. Karnataka, India, March. - Axel Gomille
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Axel Gomille / Portrait of a young adult male Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) standing on hind legs by a rock. Karnataka, India, March.