We're home to three Andean bears: Bernard (or Bernie), our handsome male, Lima the female, and their cute new cub who was born January 2017.

The bear couple at the zoo have been carefully matched for breeding and they have been very successful! We've welcomed the newest (and cutest) addition to the family in January 2017. The new cub, pictured below at 6 months, is the first born in mainland Great Britain.

Andean bear cub

These bears are named after the Andes Mountains where wild bears live. With there being only 20,000 left in the wild, it is really important for us to do all we can to help them survive.

Andean bears are sometimes referred to as "spectacled bears" because of the white rings they sometimes have around their eyes, making them look like they're wearing a pair of specs!

Bernard and Lima are registered on the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme, a carefully managed scheme overseeing the breeding of zoo animals in different countries. It means that zoos work together to try and breed more of these endangered species.

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Interesting facts

Where they live Found only in the Tropical Andes of South America, including Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Habitat A great variety of ecosystems including Tropical dry forests; Tropical moist lowland and montane forest; Tropical dry and moist shrublands.
Size Males grow up to 30% larger than females. Head-body length range from 1.2-2 metres, shoulder height 70 - 90cm
Weight Females weigh up to 84kg, males up to about 150kg.
Threats Habitat fragmentation and destruction caused by the expansion of agriculture frontier and livestock farming is a major threat to this species. Andean bears are also persecuted by local farmers for killing cattle and destroying maize crops. Habitat fragmentation continues to bring bears and humans into closer proximity, leading to increased human-bear conflict. Though the hunting of Andean bears is illegal, the species is still poached for its meat, skin, bones, fat and claws, which are all in demand locally. The gall bladders are occasionally marketed, being of value in traditional oriental medicine, and can fetch a high price on the international market