Photo: Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Photo: Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The only bear native to South America, spectacled bears (sometimes called Andean bears) live in the Andes mountain range mainly from western Venezuela to Bolivia, but they have been found in forests as far as Panamá and Argentina.  Each individual has its own distinctive set of cream markings on its head, throat and chest.  This beautiful female lives at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC, USA.  Although being adaptable and cautious, mostly vegetarian, they are under threat.

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