Picture courtesy of Belfast Zoo
Spectacled bears are black or brown in colour and some even have a slight reddish tinge. The thing that gives them their name is the creamy white mark around their eyes. It makes them look like they are wearing glasses (like me but not). I think they are intelligent and wise.
They are about 150 to 180 centimetres long. The males may be 30 percent longer than females are. The female spectacled bear weighs 64 to 82 kilograms but the male weighs 100 to 154 kilograms.
Most cubs at birth weigh 300 to 350 grams and are born in litters of one, two or occasionally three cubs between November and February.
Spectacled bears are found in South America. They live in rain forests, cloud forests, dry forests, steppe and coastal scrub desert, in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. They are very adaptable, but because their habitat is being destroyed and because some people keep them as pets, they now mostly live in thick forest.
Spectacled bears eat lots of things. They are omnivores. They like fruit best.
You can see spectacled bears at Belfast Zoo.
Paddington Bear is a spectacled bear, because he came from “darkest Peru”. The only bears that come from Peru are spectacled bears – the person who drew the pictures must not have known this because he doesn’t look like one.
This site was last updated 07-04-2006