nAswail(Zoöl) The sloth bear (Melursus labiatus) of India.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
naswailThe native name of the sloth-bear of India, Melursus or Prochilus labiatus. It is an uncouth, unwieldy animal, with very long black hair, and inoffensive when not attacked. Owing to its exceeding sensitiveness to heat, it confines itself to its den during the day. It never eats vertebrate animals except when pressed by hunger, its usual diet consisting of roots, bees' nests, grubs, snails, ants, etc. Its flesh is used for food, and its fat is highly valued for the lubrication of the delicate steel-work in gun-locks. When captured young it is easily tamed, and can be taught to perform many curious tricks.