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Inkaterra: Andean Bear Rescue Center

September 22, 2020 Headline News, Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

The only bear species native to South America is the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus). It lives in an area that stretches from Venezuela to Bolivia in the western Andean region which includes coastal deserts, foothill forests, cloud forests, evergreen forests, plains and highlands. 

It is listed on the IUCN Red List as an endangered species, which classifies it as threatened with extinction due to poaching and habitat loss.

In 2001, the Andean Bear Conservation Centre was established at the Hotel Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo. Its mission is to study the rare bears that have been captured illegally with the aim of gaining a better understanding of their behavior in the cloud forest.

Currently, four bears are living in the sanctuary managed by the NGO Inkaterra Asociación (one female bear has even been successfully released back into the wild). The sanctuary includes an enclosure with trees, ramps and a freshwater pool, as well as a 2980m² area where two bears – a male and a female – have been released for reproduction and reintroduction into the wild. Skin and other medical checks are constantly conducted in coordination with the National Services for Nature Reserves (SERNANP).

Inkaterra Asociación, in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and SERNANP, contributed to the publication of the National Andean Bear Conservation Strategy in Machu Picchu, a model for other wildlife management programs.

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