Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus)

Bear Facts

Patricio Meza Saltos / SIMBOIE

  • Also known as the Andean Bear.
  • One of the world’s rarest species, it lives in South America.
  • Under severe threat from hunting and habitat destruction.
  • Often killed by farmers who see them as pests.
  • It is thought there may be less than 10,000 left in the wild.
  • They are very shy bears and stay away from humans.
  • A spectacled bear mother has the ability to run on three legs whilst holding a young bear cub she is protecting.
  • Their lifespan in the wild is uncertain.
  • Most Andean bears have cream coloured markings that often encircle their eyes, which gives rise to the name ‘Spectacled’ bear.
  • They spend a considerable amount of time feeding and resting in trees.
  • They usually produce one or two cubs, although litters of three to four have been recorded in the wild. The cubs stay with their mothers for around 18 months.
  • CITES Appendix 1.