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  • There is only the one member of the Ursidae family

    in the mountains of South America. It is a spectacled bear. Its another names are Andean bear or short-faced bear. This carnivore animal is the last representative of short-faced bears on the Earth.

    Spectacled bear lives in mountain forests at a high altitude. It also possibly to meet this bear in the savannas and grasslands. It avoids open areas, preferring to lurk in bushes.

    Comparing with other bears this animal is not large. Its height at the withers is 80 cm. The body length is 1.5 -1.8 m. His weight can reach up to 140 kg. Males are much larger than females.

    The animal’s fur is rather dense, black color, sometimes with brownish hue. There are white (sometimes yellow or reddish) spots around the eyes and nose on the short face. Sometimes white spots are possible on the chest. Eyes are small and dark, have rounded shape. The ears are rounded, placed broadly. A spectacled bear has long legs with long claws that are used to dig soil. All representatives of the Ursidae family have 14 pairs of ribs, but spectacled bear – only 13 ones.

    In spite that the animal belongs to the order of predators, its diet is mostly vegetable food: roots, leaves, fruits, sprouts, bark. Spectacled bear prefers fruits most of all. Insects and small animals are only less than 5% of its nutrition. These predators eat seeds and nuts, as well as sugar cane and wild honey.

    A twilight bear sleeps during a day. He fixes himself on a tree or under it, sometimes – in a cave. When twilight starts, it goes to search for food and eats all night. This beast is a great climber and builds on the branches his asylum, by bending tree branches. He spends a few days eating and sleeping in such “nest”. A spectacled bear does not stay in dormant during the winter.

    Spectacled bears meet for procreation from May to August. Male and female constantly interact for a week or two: play and mate several times a day. Then the animals separate. Female bear is pregnant for 8 months and then gives birth for 1-3 cubs in a secluded cave.

    The number of spectacled bears is small. They are killed off permanently due to the high value of their gallbladders and the clutches that are used in medicine. Besides, animals’ meat is eatable (Peru). In addition, farmers are dissatisfied of bears’ forays at their lands, the animals are shot and poisoned by pesticides. Spectacled bears are listed into the Red Book and are under protection.