Sloth Bear. This species has suffered the very worst imaginable punishment from humans. A practice has been underway in India for hundreds of years now.
These amazing animals are poached across their entire range then tortured and mutilated for a small profit.
Once trapped, they are put into a tiny "cage" where they cannot turn around or move. Males are often castrated (without sedatives) to make them more docile.
Their teeth are pulled out one-by-one with plyers also with no sedatives. Image what that must feel like.
Their claws are all filed down then a hot piece of sharp metal in stabbed through their incredibly sensitive noses.
The pads of their very sensitive paws are repeatedly burned while a loud pot is banged in their ears.
They are beaten into submission with a stick then finally a rope is put through the hole in their nose and they are dragged to the roadside.
When tourists show up, the pot is banged and the bear reacts in fear of more burning by "dancing" for donations to the sweethearts who "own" them.
Look, I don't ask anything from people viewing my site. These pictures are yours to enjoy, download or whatever you want.
But if you appreciate wildlife at all, consider donating to help stop a really horrific practice. Here's a great organization that has done huge amounts to stop this:
Below you can see how mutilated and infected this bear's nose and mouth were. Many didn't survive this process.
You can also see the stick in the lower left that these fine gentleman were beating this bear with when I was there.
Obviously I would love to get a better shot of one of these animals in the wild, but that is so very irrelevant compared to their freedom.
The top shot was in Chitwan National Park in Nepal in 2002
The bottom shot was roadside just outside Delhi in India in 2006