Andean Bear

[Tremarctos ornatus]

The Andean Spectacled Bear has black fur with white-yellowish stripes which arch over the base of the nose and eyes and give a spectacled appearance to this bear. The markings around the eyes vary considerably between individuals. Males may weigh up to 250 lbs on average, although ones as heavy as 400 lbs. have been found. Females can weigh between 74 to150 lbs. The Andean Spectacled Bear can have a total body length of 60 to 72 inches. Andean bears are more herbivorous than other bears. They are the only surviving species of bear native to South America.

Location: Bear Exhibits

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The range of the Andean Spectacled Bear is South America from Colombia, western Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru


Andean Spectacled Bears inhabit cloud forests in the Andes Mountains from 650-14,000 feet and grasslands above 10,000 feet.

Conservation Status
Primary Threats
Human Wildlife Coexistence, Climate Change

Gestation in Andean Spectacled Bears is between 240 to 255 days. Cubs are born December to February.


The litter size for Andean Spectacled Bears is 1-3, with 2 most common.


The Andean Spectacled Bear is considered to be rare. This bear is a good climber and uses its long muzzle to eat bromeliad 'hearts,' leaf stems of palm leaves, as well as figs and other fruit. It will also eat insects, carrion and occasionally kill a small animal or even something as big as a deer or guanaco. The least carnivorous of all bears, the spectacled bear is but one of four bears found south of the equator, the others being the sun bear, the sloth bear and the Asiatic black bear. They sleep in self-made tree nests, large root cavities, or on ground beds. At sites of abundant food several bears can be seen feeding in close proximity with very little interaction between them. The median life span is 10 years.


Female Andean Spectacled Bears reach sexual maturity between 4 and 7 years of age. They will mate during the months of April, May and June. A pair will stay together for a week or two, mating several times. The cubs will become independent in one year. A mother may carry the young on her back when they are still small.

Wild Diet

Palm, fruit and nut tree yields, roots, grasses, cashews, bromeliads, carrion, insects

Zoo Diet




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