The spectacled bear lives in South America in forest areas. A rare species threatened by persecution and the destruction of its habitat. Historically, the species has been hunted for its meat, fat and organs (blood, meat, gall bladder, skull, penis) used in local traditional medicine. Bears were captured as a public attraction (bear showmen, circuses, zoos) or killed by fear. Today, even though bears are a protected species, hunting and poaching are hard to estimate but still pose a significant threat. The demand for organs in urban and rural areas remains real for making remedies. But bears are mostly killed for the damage they cause in maize crops in particular and, although it occurs very rarely (the bear diet is 90% vegetarian), they perceived as predators in regions where livestock is abundant.
Although it is very difficult to establish the exact number of spectacled bears on such a surface area, the estimate is a few dozen individuals, close to 40 bears in the Chaparri Reserve in Peru. All studies conducted over the past 20 years have shown that the Chaparri Reserve and the lands of neighboring peasant communities are home to the largest population of spectacled bears in South America.
Chaparri has a rescue center for spectacled bears, created in 2001 for the conservation of its emblematic species. This center plays several parts:
> It collects bears from circuses, individuals, seized by the authorities or recovered wounded in nature;
> It offers them better living conditions in fenced areas of 2 to 4 hectares in the heart of the dry forest;
> It makes it possible to reintroduce some of the adults and their cubs;
> It is a good place of the education of these animals little known to visitors as well as an excellent way of making people aware
Thanks to DierenPark Amersfoort Wildlife Fund the Chaparri reserve can help even more spectacled bears. If you want to contribute to this, please donate to DierenPark Amersfoort Wildlife Fund!