The Spectacled Bear lives in South America. It primarily eats plants (is herbivorous), although it is classified in the order carnivora, like the other bears. Occasionally, it may catch and eat small rodents, birds, and insects. It is good at climbing trees and finding its food there. The markings around the eyes are unique for each bear.
The Spectacled Bear population is under threat for a number of reasons. The bears are hunted by locals due to a belief they will eat livestock (despite the fact that spectacled bears do not eat meat in great quantities). The gall bladders of the spectacled bears are unfortunately valued in Oriental Medicine and fetch a high price on the international market. Extensive logging and farming have led to a loss of habitat for the bears.
The above picture was shot at the Brookfield Zoo of Chicago, Illinois, in August 2004.
Life on Earth