High in the Andean Mountains lives South America’s only species of bear - the Spectacled Bear. One of the most endangered bear on earth, there could be as few as thirteen thousand of them left. The wild and secluded Chaparri Ecological Reserve in Northern Peru is a safe haven for a small population of these bears. We’ll observe these shy and charismatic creatures at play, foraging and looking for mates in their mountainous home. Amazona was orphaned at nine months old, her mother presumably killed by poachers. Hunting is one of the most serious threats to these bears. Amazona survived, thanks to the shelter of Chaparri and help from a gentle young male bear called Peruano. He’s been teaching Amazona to fend for herself but she is reaching an age when she must strike out alone and Peruano is on the cusp of sexual maturity. Too young to be a possible mate for him, the relationship must change. It’s October - mating season is almost over for Spectacled Bears. Tongo, the oldest bear on the reserve has set his sights on a shy bear called Cholita. We follow his pursuit in the face of rejection, after rejection, after rejection. Will his unfaltering passion be rewarded? As little as five percent may be all that is left of the spectacled bears original cloud forest habitat. For bears living outside reserves like Chaparri, the disappearance of their habitat forces them to live closer to farms where they can be seen as a threat to crops. Every year two hundred of these bears are hunted and killed by humans. Their pelts are of high value and their gall bladders and paws are used in traditional local and oriental medicine. Places like the Chaparri Reserve are crucial to the future of these charismatic creatures.

Episodes Wild Latin America:
Humpback, Birth of a Giant
Realm of the Spectacled Bear
Squirrel Monkey Island