At least 60 'Paddington' bears found in Bolivia

STORY: The type of Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) known as spectacled bear or Jukumari, the only one native to South America, is also the inspiration behind beloved fictional bear Paddington, who travels to London, is adopted by a family and eats lashings of marmalade.

Since 2017, the Chester Zoo’s Andean Carnivore Conservation Program initiative has installed trap cameras in the Tarija department forest areas and in 2023 sighted various members of the thriving bear community playing or walking among the trees.

Paul Bamford, Regional field Programme Manager at Chester Zoo says “Bears as being things like grizzly bears from the U.S. and polar bears. So straight away there’s kind of an education there that actually Latin America has bears as well. And then that opens up the opportunity for the conversation about, well, what are the real bears that Paddington is representing? What are the threats they’re facing? And, you know, as I said before, one of the threats this species faces is climate change. So their conservation is directly related to our actions here, in the UK, and in countries all around the world.”

The Andean bear resides throughout the subtropical Andes from Bolivia to Venezuela.

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