The Spectacled Bear
The Spectacled Bear, or Tremarctos Ornatus, is an endangered species. This rare bear can only be found in a few
elusive spots in the world. Many endangered species all over the world don’t deserve the respect and care that they
need. That is why many endangered species often become extinct or remain on the endangered species list for the
remainder of their survival on Earth. Today, as more species become endangered, more people become involved in
their care. Many things are being done to save endangered species, including safe, poacher-free environments in
captivity, and wildlife preservations, to name a few. Only a handful of zoos and sanctuaries around the globe are
lucky enough to be able to try to breed and care for rare endangered species.
The Phoenix Zoo is an example of this. Right now, they have captive many endangered species, including the almost
extinct Mexican Wolf and Spectacled Bear. In their newest exhibit, called “The Forest of Uco,” the Phoenix Zoo has
Spectacled bears and other animals from South America, the Spectacled Bears’ homeland. The Forest is a great
place for the Spectacled Bears to exist, and a great place for everyone to observe their beauty.
The Spectacled Bear’s name is derived from their markings. Around their eyes, the Spectacled Bear has white rings,
contrasting with their dark brown bodies. These look like spectacles, hence the name. Though it is quite easy to see
why they got their name, the Spectacled bears do not live up to it so strongly. When observed closely, Spectacled
Bears, in most cases, don’t have spectacles at all. In fact, most Spectacled Bears have white “sideburns” or faint
rings. They are a beautiful species, no matter what the extent of their markings is.
Spectacled Bears belong to the class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Ursidae, and genus/species Tremarctos
Ornatus. All bears belong to Mammalia, Carnivora, Ursidae, and the genus Ursus Linnaeus. These are the scientific
names for the Spectacled Bear and all bears.
The Spectacled Bear is not a relatively big bear, but is decent in size. Its body length is, on average, 6 ft in head and
body length, with a tail length of 70 mm. The bears weigh in at about 300lbs (fully grown male). They stand about
30 in at the shoulders. The Spectacled Bear is vividly and beautifully colored. Their fur is black-brown, with lighter
tones towards their chest and neck. Their muzzle is mostly light brown to red, and white. Of course, their face is
gorgeously decorated. It has thin white bands that wrap around it eyes and muzzle. These markings are quite easy to
recognize and identify.
Spectacled Bears have a very limited diet. They feed largely on plant matter, including leaves, shoots, fruits and
roots. In Ecuador, the Bear’s main source of plant matter is the Pambili Palm Tree. The bear climbs to the top of the
tree, and strips it of its leaves, which fall to the ground. The bear then dismounts the tree and it eats the fallen leaves.
Also, the bear will tear open the green flesh of young palms in order to reach the tender pith inside. It feeds on the
buds of the tree, too. In the northern reaches of Peru, the bear feeds mostly on the fruits of a species called Capparis.
Though mostly vegetarian, there have been cases of the Spectacled Bear feeding on meat. In the wild, it has been
recorded that the Spectacled Bear will, if necessary, feed on deer, guanacos, and vicunas. Also, the Bear will eat
meat in captivity if necessary. The bear will feed on small rodents such as rats and insects, to deer and wild boar.
When hungry, the bear loves corn, but will often pay the price of his life to farmers, whose crops the bears will raid.
Although the bear is a predator, it is not known to be prey to any larger animals.
The Spectacled Bear is native to South America. There are many different countries and regions that it spans, but it
mainly occupies the northern regions of Chile and the southern regions of Bolivia and Peru. Though these are the
bears’ common home, it has been found as far as Ecuador, Columbia, and