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Spectacled Bear

Spectacled Bear Video

Spectacled Bear

Spectacled Bear Range Map (South America)
Spectacled Bear Range Map (South America)

All images are a Spectacled Bear at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton-in-Furness, UK © theanimalfiles.com
Latin Name Tremarctos ornatus
Conservation Status Vulnerable
Location Western South America
Colour Brown/Black
Length 1.5 - 2 m (5 - 6.5 ft)
Tail 7 - 12 cms (2.75 - 4.75 inches)
Weight 140 - 175 Kgs (310 - 390 lbs)
Life Expectancy

20 - 25 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Spectacled Bears are the only species of bear found in South America. They have a body length between 1.5 and 2 m (5 - 6.5 ft), a tail length between 7 and 12 cms (2.75 - 4.75 inches) and they weigh between 140 and 175 kgs (310 - 390 lbs). Males are usually 30 - 40% larger than females.

They have thick, brown/black fur and cream coloured markings on their muzzle, throat, chest and around their eyes. The markings around their eyes gives them the appearance of wearing spectacles, hence their common name. They have strong jaws, sharp claws and a keen sense of smell.

Spectacled Bears are the most arboreal of all bear species and they have excellent climbing abilities. They often construct tree platforms to rest and feed on and they do not hibernate as their food supply is available all year round.


Spectacled Bears can be found in the rainforests, mountain forests, grasslands, brush and scrub of western South America. They are nocturnal, spending their days in a tree hole, root cavity or cave. They are mainly solitary except mothers with cubs.


Spectacled Bears feed on a variety of foods depending on the season and availability. They mainly feed on bromeliads, palms, orchids, leaves, shoots, and fruits. They also supplement these with nuts, eggs, seeds, small animals and carrion.


Spectacled Bears breed from April to June and the pair will only stay together for a few days. 1 - 3 cubs are born between November and February and at birth they weigh between 300 and 360 g (11 - 13 oz). When the cubs reach 42 days old their eyes will open and at 3 months old they are able to leave the den and follow their mother around.

They will remain with their mother until they are 2 years old during which time she will teach them the skills they need to survive. They reach sexual maturity between 4 and 7 years of age.


The natural predators of Spectacled Bears are jaguars and mountain lions.


There are no subspecies of Spectacled Bear.

Interesting Facts

Spectacled Bears are also known as:
Andean Bear
Oso achupayaro (bromeliad-eating bear)
Yura mateo (white fronted bear)
Yanapuma (black puma)
Ucucu (after one of its rare vocalizations)

Spectacled Bears are the last remaining representatives of the short-faced bears.

Spectacled Bears have 13 pairs of ribs where as other bear species have 14 pairs.

Similar Animals

Brown Bear
Polar Bear
Giant Panda
Sun Bear
Sloth Bear
Asiatic Black Bear
American Black Bear


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