Andean bear

At the Cincinnati Zoo Bear Line.

The only bear native to South America, the spectacled or the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is the most arboreal of the bears. Long sharp claws are used to climb trees. Folding over tree branches, the bear forms a platform from which to forage on fruits. It may sleep and feed from its nest for days.


  • Where to see them: Northwestern South America
  • Length: 4.3 to 6.6 ft
  • Weight: Male – 220 to 440 lbs, Female – 130 to 175 lbs
  • Lifespan: Up to 39 yrs in captivity
  • Habitat: Mountain forests, grasslands, and scrub desert
  • Diet: Primarily fruits, bromeliads, bamboo, cactus, and other plants, some small animals
  • Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)
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