The spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is South America's only native species of bear, inhabiting forested areas of the Andes mountain range including Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. Spectacled bears have black fur, keen eyesight, and distinctive golden-colored rings of fur (or 'spectacles') framing their eyes. Tremarctos ornatus is a small species of bear usually weighing in the range of 250-340 pounds. Females are generally smaller than males. The facial fur pattern of each spectacled bear is unique so scientists can use the markings to identify individual bears.
Spectacled bears inhabit the forests of the Andes that occur between elevations of 1,900 and 2,350 meters (Bies 2002). They have also been observed to a lesser extent in other habitats including dry coastal deserts, rainforests, and higher alpine areas (in excess of 4000 meters).