Flushing, N.Y. – June 16, 2014 -- Bouba, a young Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus), goes for a swim at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo.

Bouba is a 2–year-old male that made his debut at the Queens Zoo in the fall. He shares a habitat with a female Andean bear named Spangles.

The Andean bear is the only bear species endemic to South America. It is native to Andean lowlands in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina. The species is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Andean bear is also known as the spectacled bear because some individuals have white markings around their eyes that resemble eyeglasses. Their populations in the wild are declining due to habitat loss and hunting.

WCS is currently working with the national park systems of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to develop the regional capacity to monitor the movements of Andean bears throughout their mountainous habitat, and to mitigate threats to these mammals through human-bear conflict management techniques.

Barbara Russo: 718-265-3428; brusso@wcs.org
Max Pulsinelli: 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo – Open every day of the year. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, $5 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. The Queens Zoo is located at 53-51 111th Street in Flushing Meadow’s Corona Park in Queens. For further information, call 718-271-1500 or visit www.wcs.org.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org; facebook.com/TheWCS; youtube.com/user/WCSMedia; follow: @theWCS.