Endangered Bear Cub Rescued In Peru

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A four-month old spectacled bear cub is rescued from poachers in Peru.

Full Story:

A bear cub who may have been destined for the illegal pet trade has been rescued from poachers in Peru.

The four-month-old cub is now receiving specialist care at Huachipa Zoo in Lima.

[Celia Diaz, Vet]:
"The story of this four-month-old bear cub is really very tragic. There is a community in Chiclayo called "El Espinal" ("The Chord") where poachers or villagers wounded his mother with two cubs. She was able to flee, probably injured-- we do know she's injured-- with one of the cubs and she abandoned the other, who stayed behind. The villagers caught the cub and kept her in captivity for about ten days. Perhaps because of the food the animal had during this time, she was dehydrated."

The little bear, known as "Juanita", is being fed powdered milk high in protein to help regain some of her lost weight.

Juanita is a spectacled bear, the only bear native to South America, and an endangered species at risk of extinction.

Spectacled bears face numerous threats, including loss of of traditional habitats for development, farmers who kill the animal to protect livestock, and poachers who trade bear parts on the black market for traditional Chinese medicine.

[Catherine Gutierrez, Schoolgirl]:
"If they continue to hunt the bears they will make them extinct."

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, hundreds of spectacled bears are hunted down each year, with perhaps as few as 6,000 remaining.

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