Machu Picchu is considered a Historical and Natural Heritage by UNESCO, so in addition to its incredible structures, you can see beautiful species of animals, plants and insects. The Historical and Natural Sanctuary of Machu Picchu houses, among all plant species, around 450 species of orchids and nowhere else in the world can you find so many. Hundreds of species of animals, among which are the spectacled bear and the cock of the rocks, in danger of extinction. But did you know that you can see bears on your visit to the Inca city of Machu Picchu?
The Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus), is also known as South American bear, ucumari, jukumari, or popularly as 'spectacled bear' because of the white spots around its eyes. It is a mammal that measures up to 2.2 meters tall and can weigh up to 180 kilos. It is a medium bear, in comparison with the 8 species of bears known in the world, among them the brown bear or the polar bear.
It is a solitary mammal, of diurnal and nocturnal habits, mainly terrestrial but with some arboreal customs like the harvest of fruits and berries in the glass of the trees. Unlike its relatives, the spectacled bear does not hibernate.
According to Sernanp, it lives in diverse ecosystems located between 500 meters above sea level, where it temporarily decreases when food is scarce, and at 4500 meters above sea level, where it is rarely observed. Its presence in greater in the humid forests and of mists located in the ecoregions of the High Forest and the Páramo.
In our country, according to the National Service of Natural Protected Areas by the State (Sernanp), the spectacled bear can be found in ten protected natural areas. These include the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, the Choquequirao Regional Conservation Area, Abiseo River National Park, Yanachaga Chemillén National Park, Ichigkat Muja-Cordillera del Cóndor National Park, Alto Mayo Protected Forest, among others. It can also be found in areas such as the Chaparrí Private Conservation Area in Lambayeque.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this unique species in South America and endemic to the tropical Andes, is considered vulnerable. That is, it is part of the group of species likely to join the endangered list. Peru is the country with the largest number of specimens of this species.
Among the main threats of this species are illegal hunting (for sporting purposes, for commercialization of their skin, production of products related to natural medicine or for rituals) and hunting by farmers or ranchers. According to a document prepared by WCS and Inkaterra, these mammals are often hunted because they eat grazing animals or agricultural products such as corn.
Other threats are urban sprawl, illegal logging, forest fires, precarious surveillance of protected areas, among others.
Machu Picchu is a sanctuary of spectacled bears, it is the only place in South America where you can see them walking freely, play between the terraces of the wonder and do not represent any kind of threat to visitors.
Yes, you can see bears in Machu Picchu and it's something that happens a lot. Machu Picchu is home to a large part of the population of Andean bears that inhabit South America. And seeing spectacled bears walking free through the Inca city of Machu Picchu will further enrich the already incredible experience.
The spectacled bear Machu Picchu is a native of South America and is called so, because around the eyes have circular white spots. Eat fruits, stems, leaves, and fish or a bird from time to time. It has become frequent to see spectacled bears with their puppies playing near the buildings of Machu Picchu. You can see them from very early until around 4 pm, but they only stay for a few minutes, after attracting all eyes they return to the forest in search of another place to play.
The spectacled bear is recognized worldwide for its white glasses and because it appears on the list of endangered species; and one of the most original souvenirs of this beautiful animal that can be obtained in Peru, may be the coin of a sun recently included in the limited edition coin collection of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru.
If you are not lucky enough to see a spectacled bear as you walk through the Inca city of Machu Picchu, there are other places very close to it where you can see them; neglect, it's not a zoo and they take care of them.
With the minting of the Andean bear, also called the spectacled bear, the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) today began the new numismatic series Endangered Wild Fauna of Peru, a collection presented in the coins of a Sun. In total, 10 were coined. millions of coins.
As indicated by the BCR, this new collection of ten coins - preceded by the numismatic series Natural Resources of Peru and Wealth and Pride of Peru - will present species of wildlife that suffer threats related especially to various activities of man.
Other species that will appear in this collection are the sachavaca, the Tumbes caiman, the white-winged guan, the otorongo, the Andean cat, among others.