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Rosalita: Female, born January 9, 1989 at Calgary Zoo. She arrived at the Zoo November 1, 2001.
Spike: Male, born December 30, 1992 at the Cincinnati Zoo. He arrived at the Zoo June 22, 2010.
The only bear species native to South America. Also known as the spectacled bear due to the fact that some individuals have blonde colored hairs around their eyes, giving them the appearance of wearing glasses.
In zoos, Andean bears may have a life expectancy of 25 years.
Little is known about the behavior of this shy forest bear. It is believed that they are mostly nocturnal and spend the day time sleeping in self-made tree nests, large tree root cavities or on ground beds. At sites of abundant food, as with fruiting trees, several bears can be seen feeding in close proximity with very little interaction between them. Only mothers with young have been seen traveling together so it is assumed Andean bears lead solitary lives.
Females usually give birth from November through January. Gestation is 6-8 months. Delayed implantation occurs in the species. Litters have 1-3 cubs. Females reach sexual maturity at about four years of age.
4-7 feet (1.2-2.1 meters) in length and their height is 2-2.5 feet (.6-.76 meters) at the shoulder.
Females can weigh up to 140 lbs (63 kg) while the males can weigh up to 385 lbs (174 kg).
Andean bears are considered omnivorous (eat both meat and plant material); however, their diet in the wild is primarily vegetarian. The majority of the wild bear diet is comprised of bromeliads (such as cactus) but also includes fruits, berries, shrubs, honey, sugar cane and a very small amount of live prey such as insects and small mammals. At the Zoo the base diet of the bears is dog food, the bears receive a variety of fruits and vegetables that differ daily as well as activity foods which include raisins, honey and peanut butter.
Western Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Western Bolivia, Panama, and Northern Argentina
On the 2010 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Andean bear is listed as Vulnerable.
To learn more about the conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo, click here.
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