A bear with spectacles
There are only a few of the unique South American bear in: Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.
The bear with spectacles- Tremarctos ornatus-, also known as Andean bear, is endangered; there are only a few of the unique South American bear in: Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. It is not well known how many nears are exactly in Peru. Logging, human invasion of its habitat, mining activities, carnivorous attacks and some other actions, caused the decrease of its population. In some places like Amazonas, people use the meat and the viscera of the bear to cook and keep the skin to show its capture. It is a plantigrade eating vegetable, fruits and meat, reason that makes that if a cow appears dead, the farmers accuse the bear about the facts. This make breeders to hunt bears, although some authors don’t think that bears kill the cows, however they will eat the meat if found a dead animal.
In places where inputs for the rituals of sorcerers and healers are sold, in markets like the Chiclayo one, bear claws can be found as magic and curatives power are attributed to them.
They can be found from 500 to 4800 meters over the sea level in dry forests of the Chaparrí hill (Chiclayo), in Cutervo (Cajamarca), Amazonas, Jaen, and some areas of the Peruvian forest reserve, in Machu Picchu, and in the Andean departments in general.
The bears of spectacles can measure around 2 meters standing on their feet and weight around 190 kilos, while the females are smaller, around 75 % of the size and a weight of 60 kilos.
It is black colored with some brown shades with clear spots on face, neck and chest that are characteristics of each specimen. The clear spots around the eyes were the origin of the popular name “bear with spectacles”. It has a short tail.
The huge reserve of Chaparri, with several hectares of land in the Lambayeque region counts with a rescue center of Andean bears. There are some confiscated from a circus where they were bettered, others were reared as pets.
In 1999 the Supreme Decree Nº 013-99-AG was approved. In it, hunting, transporting and exportation were forbidden for the endangered species, including the Andean bear. However, twelve years later of the validity of the law, it is urgent to train people to take conscience of the importance to preserve the forests and nature in general including fauna and flora. Currently, the bear with spectacles is one of the endangered species, but no for food shortage but fundamentally for the human action by destruction of forests, illegal hunting and folkloric and magic uses of parts of the bear body.
Some days ago, it was published in “El Comercio” the great news that a mother bear with two cubs come in the Chaparri Reserve, probably looking for feed. This fact is good evidence that more bears may live there. We hope that the care that has been started in this reserve, the results obtained in China about the Pandas in captivity, where started with seven animals and now are 350.
Public help is being asked to the animal lovers and private company to godfather a bear and help in its maintenance.