They are OMNIVORES. Generally they feed mainly on fruit, roots and tubers but also eat fresh meat and insects.
They live on the eastern forest slopes along the Andean Mountains
They are also known as 'spectacled bears' because they have light fur outlines on their faces, giving them the appearenace of wearing glasses.
They are the last living species of short-faced bears
These bears are named after the Andes Mountains where wild bears live.
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! Their short muzzle with wide flat teeth helps them chew through vegetation and tree bark, and their thick shaggy fur keeps them warm at high altitudes.
They are perfectly adapted for climbing trees, which they do to reach the fruit, berries and honey they eat. They have non-retractable claw for gripping trees, sometimes climbing as high as 13,000 feet to reach food!
With a lifespan of about 20 years, these bears live a solitary lifestyle, coming together only to mate.
It takes two to three months for the mother to give birth to one or two cubs who remain in the safety
of their den for the first three months of their lives.
The dry forests of the Andes are being cut down to make way for agricultural land, oil extraction and the building of new roads. This development is pushing the species closer to extinction.
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.
We support a project in Peru which aims to protect these animals using camera traps to find out more about how these elusive bears live.