Spectacled/Andean Bear

ANIMAL:
Spectacled/Andean Bear           Tremarctos ornatus

Type of Animal:
Bear

Habitat:
Mountains, montane forest, cloud forest, rainforest, scrubland, montane grassland, dry forest, mossy forest, coastal & scrub desert, steppe

Location(s):
Andes Mountains from W. Venezuela south to Bolivia w/ a few in extreme N. Argentina

Appearance:
Black or dark brown w/ beige markings across face/upper chest, males larger than females, more round face w/ relatively short, broad snout

Food/Diet:
Fruit, berries, cacti, honey, bark, orchid bulbs, insects, arachnids, birds, bromeliads, palm nuts, leaves, rabbits, cattle, lamoids (llama/alpaca/vicuna/guanaco), bamboo, deer, equines, rodents, carrion, corn, sugarcane, roots, tubers, grasses, veggies, pigs, goats, sheep, seeds, nuts, worms, shrubs. Males sometimes prey on cubs.

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers. Spectacled Bear Conservation Society established in Peru in 2006.

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Boar
Female-Sow
Young-Cub
Group-Solitary

Weight:
Male-220-386 lbs
Female-132-176 lbs
Young-22 lbs

Gestation: 
5.5-8.5 months

Height:
Male-6 ft
Female-5 ft

Body Length:
Male-6 ft
Female-5 ft

Life Span: 
20 years in wild, 30 years in captivity

Tail Length:
2.76 in

Adults have no predators while cubs preyed on by adult male bears, jaguars, & pumas.

South America’s only bear species.

Threatened due to habitat loss, logging/deforestation, persecution as livestock killer/crop pest, hunting for gall bladders/fur/meat/medicinal purposes, pet trade, mining, oil exploration, environmental contamination, & low genetic diversity.

Each bear has own distinct set of markings.

They’re highly arboreal.

Cubs stay w/ mom for 1-2 years.

Sexually mature at 4 years old.

Since they live in the tropics, they don’t hibernate.

Usually 2-3 cubs in a litter.

They’re mostly nocturnal.

Fun Fact(s):
Known as ukumari in Quechua.

Fairly nonaggressive, unless mom protecting cubs or animal is wounded.

Paddington Bear of children’s book fame based on this species.

Only surviving member of short-faced bear subfamily, which went extinct around 10,000 years ago. This subfamily included North American Cave Bear, Florida Spectacled Bear, & Giant Short-Faced Bear. In fact, it’s sometimes called the Andean Short-Faced bear.
 

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