4-28-2015 The Bear Who Wears Spectacles

by Kricket


Hello again to today's Bolivia for Kids Blog. Today we'll talk about another member of Bolivia's Wacky Wildlife. But first, here's a question. I know I normally ask one at the end of each blog but today let's start now. How many bears are there in Bolivia? This is an easy one. Why? You ask. Well, it's because there is only one bear in Bolivia, and here it is.

The Spectacled Bear

The spectacled bear is the last of the short-faced bear species. It is a relative to both the extinct Florida spectacled bear and the giant short-faced bear that lived millions of years ago in the Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene age during the Ice Age.

Spectated bears are the only bears in Bolivia and arguably the largest land carnivore on the continent. The reason I said "arguably" the largest land carnivore on the continent is because only 5% of its diet is meat, but I guess that still counts. It is also the third heaviest creature in South America. It gets its name from the fur coloring that makes it look as though it is wearing spectacles, as seen in the attached picture.

They live alone and usually don't assist other spectated bears in hunting but they are not territorial creatures and will let other spectacled bears into their territory. (So long as they behave). It's a highly adaptable animal and can live anywhere from the high Andes Mountains to cloud forests to shrub deserts.

Spectacled bears mate almost any time of year, though mostly during April and June near the beginning of the wet season when fruit gets ripe. Births usually occur during December and February in the dry season. Image Source.

So I hope you enjoyed today's installment of our Bolivian Wacky Wildlife series and what a wacky creature! I sure know I haven't seen any other bears wearing spectacles. So as I laugh at my own unfunny joke I'd like to close with another question. Is this species endangered or not?

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Jun 18, 2015
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Good post
by: Kelley Olson

You are a great blogger! When you started your first entries?

Jun 05, 2015
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Fun facts for kids
by: fun facts for kids

bears and bolivians ...

May 05, 2015
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Indeed
by: Kricket

@Paul

Yes this bear is considered endangered however it doesn't seem that many acts to preserve it, that I know of, are in order.

May 05, 2015
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Thanks!
by: Kricket

@Anonymous

The title says it all. :)

May 01, 2015
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The only bear in South America
by: Paul

Cool. I also heard somewhere that it is actually the only bear in all of South America. So I'm not sure if it's an endangered species, but I would imagine that since we don't have any other species of bear here, that we should take great care of it and its habitats.

May 01, 2015
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you write very well
by: Anonymous

Great article Kricket. I look forward to reading more. You're a very good writer.

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