Spectacled Bear

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Spectacled bears can be persecuted and shot by local farmers who blame them for killing cattle and destroying maize crops.

Spectacled bears can be persecuted by local farmers who blame them for killing cattle and for destroying maize crops. Often, multiple bears are killed without firm evidence of which was the offending culprit.

In areas where farming and cattle-raising have intruded into former Andean bear habitat, reducing the bears’ natural sources of food, the spectacled bears have been known to raid farmers’ crops, especially those of maize and cultivated corn. These incidents often often result in the bears being shot.

Spectacled bears have rarely been observed killing livestock and cattle that graze near forest lands. Not natural-born killers, the bears have been observed to simply jump on top of unwary cows and begin chomping on their shoulders. If the cow cannot escape and dies, its carcass may be dragged back into the forest and consumed over several days. Such attacks, though, are rare.

Sources: (Fenner, 2012; Fernando del Moral; Hunter, 2011; LaFee, 2009; Macdonald, 2001; Nowak, 1999; Servheen, Herrero, & Peyton, 1999; Velez-Liendo & García-Rangel, 2017)
Image: Tambako the Jaguar

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