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Andean Bear Rescue Center

spectacled bear - tumbesian region - white winged guan - ecotourism


Tongo, the big male The big male of Chaparri, at approximately 8 years old, he is in the prime of his life and weighs 59kg. He came to Chaparri in 2003 having been kept in the yard of a rice mill in Lambayeque. He is in great physical condition and lives in the largest enclosure where he climbs trees and cliffs. Unfortunately he is unafraid and even hostile towards people making reintroduction impossibe.


Little Collique, the Houdini of the Chaparri bears Collique arrived in Chaparri from Cordilera Azul in 2006, having been confiscated from a local family who were keeping her as a pet. The youngest and most inquisitive bear at Chaparri – she can move from enclosure to enclosure as she burrows under or dexterously climbs over the electric fences avoiding the live wires. She is forever escaping and testing the fences and can squeeze though improbably small spaces to get from enclosure to enclosure and has escaped on several occasions but has so far always returned as she is still of an age where she enjoys being with other bears. When she first arrived she formed a close bond with Milagros and they share an enclosure. A very good climber she spends a lot of time in the very tops of trees. She is in very good health and is a great candidate for future reintroduction.


Milagros the wonder bearA six year old female with an amazing story. In January 2003 there was an airplane accident near the city of Chachapoyas, a local farmer witnessed the aircraft crash into forest and went to see if there were survivors, tragically all onboard had perished but he found a very small bear cub just beside the crash site with no sign of the mother who may have been killed by the impact or been frightened and abandoned her cub. He took the bear cub back to his house and a few months later she was passed to authorities and arrived at Chaparri in early 2003. Her name means miracle in Spanish as a result of her survival. She is very inquisitive, a very accomplished climber and is a good candidate for reintroduction. She is in good health and weighs approximately 40 kg.


Azulina, a good candidate for releaseA young adult female of approximately 6 years of age. She originates from the Cordillera Azul mountains in north-eastern Peru where she was being kept in a house after her mother had been shot and she captured. She arrived in Chaparri in late 2005. She has adapted well to Chaparri and is a good candidate for a future release. She is very friendly with Milagros and play fights often with Collique. She is still growing and perhaps slightly small (possibly was undernourished in her early captivity) and weighs 30 kg (August 2008).


Cholita shares a corral with TongoAn adult female of approximately 8 years of age. She came to Chaparri in 2003 from Batan Grande in the valley to the north of Chaparri where she was being kept as a pet. She is one of the shyest and most nervous bears and is very wary of people. She currently shares the largest enclosure with Tongo. She is well adapted to the environment and is a good candidate for a future reintroduction. She is in good health and weighs 37 kg.


Rosita, the old lady bearThe old lady of Chaparri, her exact age in unknown but we know she is at least 30 years old. She was confisctaed by Bolivian Police from a Chilean traveling circus but was apparently of Peruvian origin (there are no Andean Bears in Chile) and was then transferred to the Parque Las Leyendas Zoo in Lima and from there to Chaparri. She is still healthy though suffers from hair loss, a condition well-known in old female Andean Bears in captivity, and is also slightly overweight (52kg in August 2008), we are trying to reduce her intake of carbohydrates but it is difficult to exactly control diet as she has a good appetite but is not very active and wild foods are also available in the enclosures.


Cuto, the oldest maleThe oldest male in Chaparri being about 12-15 years of age. He came to Chaparri in 2001 after being confiscated from a circus in Chiclayo. He was mistreated in captivty and arrived in a very poor condition and still suffers from four broken canines and damage to his jaws that he suffered in captivity. For this reason and his behavior he is not a suitable candidate for reintroduction and shares an enclosure with Rosita and is now the star bear for the educational visits to the facility. Aside from his dental problems he is in good health and weighs 55kg.

Other bears that we have had at Chaparri since the project began but which have died, escaped or been transferred to other facilities.


the first female came to Chaparri from Oxapampa in early 2000, she was previously living in a house with a family and when she first arrived in Chaparri she shared a tent with the lady who had “owned” her. Despite this close contact with people she adapted well to the dry forest environment and escaped in 2001 when trees fell on the fences. She survived in the wild producing at least three cubs. Her current status and location unknown. Her story is well told in the film “Manos and Garras” by Bernie Peyton.


The first male and oldest bear we have had. He arrived in a very poor state after 20+ years in a cage measuring 2 meters by meters in a factory yard in Lima. He adapted well to Chaparri and enjoyed 3 years there and was the favorite bear of many visitors and was even featured on cereal packets in Peru. He died in his sleep on 30 December 2003.


The most secretive bear we have had at Chaparri who would often not be seen for days at a time. She arrived in 2001 from a circus that arrived in the village of Chongoyape and was believed to have originated from the Chachapoyas region. She escaped undetected from the enclosure during the wet season of 2006 when the vegetation is very dense and she was being seen only occasionally and was found dead outside the enclosure - the exact cause of death is not known but she appears to have been killed by a Puma.


A female that had been very badly treated in a circus in Chiclayo 2001 and had a badly broken jaw. She arrived in very poor condition and improved in health but continued to suffer from a recurrent respiratory infection associated with damage sustained in the circus and died suddenly in her sleep in 2006.


A young female who arrived in Chaparri from a farm near Chongoyape in July 2007. She adapted very well to the environment and was a prime reintroduction candidate. She escaped during the wet season in 2008 and was last seen in early December 2008 not far from the enclosures and in apparently good health meaning that she has been able to survive the dry season and find her own food. We hope she will stay in the area and that we will manage to keep seeing her occasionally to know how she is faring in the wild.


A young male that came to Chaparri from a restaurant in the town of Reque, Lambayeque in 2006. His wild origin was not known. In 2007 he was transferred to a new animal rescue centre near Tarapoto where he continues to live in a similar enclosure to those at Chaparri. This transfer was part of an agreement where Chaparri staff advised on the construction and trained staff to establish a rescue centre for animals in that region.