Ana Maria the bear

common nameconservation status
 Spectacled bearVulnerable (VU)
scientific namesize
 Tremarctos ornatus 1.5-1.8 m (5-6 ft)
 Ursidae 140 kg aprox. (308 lb aprox.)
Carnivora Up to 25 years
class gestation period
 Mammalia 165-255 days
 population diet
 18,250 specimens in 2004 The largest percentage of its diet is based on plants: bromeliads, fruits, berries, bulbs, roots, bark, leaves and mushrooms, even though another small percentage has animal origin: insects, honey, eggs, reptiles, fish, rodents, rabbits, young birds.
Humid forests in the Andes Mountains It lives in the Andes Mountains, from western Venezuela through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia to the north of Argentina.

Did you know...


This bear species is different from the other species that exist currently for one important reason: its blood contains 52 chromosomes instead of 74, like the other bears. This tells us that the species became isolated 12 million years ago. Among their distinctive features is the number of ribs, 13 pairs instead of 14.



Because of the milder weather of the places where they live, the skin of this species is thinner than that of other bears.



Unlike its closest relatives, like polar bears, brown bears and black bears, they do not hibernate, as the food they need is available all year long.



It is the only species of bear native to South America, and the biggest population is found in Peru.



It is generally an elusive and solitary animal. The interaction with humans is negligible because of the remote territories where it lives; that is why the first stories about these bears were thought to be legends.



They have big claws which help them to climb trees and rock cliffs.


As with the giant panda, the spectacled bear has a very large head compared to its body.



Bears in general are plantigrade animals, as they walk with the entire sole of the foot on the ground. This allows them to stand erect to have a better view of the horizon and scare their enemies away.



In the wild, the main threats to this animal are cougars and jaguars, even though people played the main role in the reduction of its population, as it was dangerous for cattle and corn fields.



This bear builds nests with branches and leaves in the trees where it rests and collects food (mainly fruits and berries from that same tree).



In the wild, a female can generally give birth to 1-4 cubs per litter, normally 2.



This species is directly associated with the Andean culture and some of its legends and traditions. The most popular one is the “Fiesta del Señor Q’oyllur Riti”, where it is considered a totem, a protective symbol.



Other Characters