Our Latest Trip to the Zoo to See the Andean Bears

The Andean bear, also known as the spectacled bear, is quite the interesting creature. During our most recent trip to the local zoo, we actually spent more time than usual admiring them and studying how they interacted with each other. 

Did you know that Andean bears are the only bears that can be found in South America? They get the nickname "spectacled" because many of them have light colored rings around their eyes, which resemble eyeglasses. They can live up to twenty-five years in the wild, and in captivity up to thirty-six years. Andean bears can grow as long as five to six feet, and weigh anywhere from 132 to 340 pounds (males are typically larger than the females). They're also known to be great climbers and typically follow an omnivore diet, mostly munching on various species of plant life, along with insects and small animals.

This big guy (or gal) had an itch and was using the pole as a scratching post.

Now, we've seen the Andean Bears plenty of times during our previous visits to the zoo, but this time around we had a little something extra to talk about. You see back in the summertime, we were introduced to a wonderful children's literature study program called Picture Book Explorers. Branch Out World is the company who offers these studies, and we were blessed to receive one for Paddington Bear
Each study provides the opportunity for families to "branch out" and explore all the fine details of the story such as geography, culture, science, history, etc. Paddington Bear is actually an Andean bear, so we were sure to put a lot of focus on this magnificent species. While we never really needed an excuse to visit the zoo–after doing the study, I had promised my son that we'd make an extra special visit just to see "Paddington" and his family. I noticed that my son was even more intrigued with the bears during this last visit, thanks to the literature study.

 Look at all of that fur! I'm sure they have no problem keeping warm.

If you're planning a trip to your local zoo, be sure to find out if they have Andean Bears. They're quite the fascinating creatures! You can also learn more about the Paddington Bear Literature Study from Branch Out World by visiting my previous blog post where I shared some of the fun learning activities that we took part in. 

Paddington Bear Children's Literature Study

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