It’s love at first sight - two Spectacled Bears meet at their new home at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

12 Jun 2019

It’s love at first sight! Spectacled Bears Madidi (female) and Rasu (male) meet at their new home at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Bristol. Part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP), the two bears bonded instantly, showing promising signs of their breeding potential.SpectacledBearsEdit_16.JPG
The Spectacled Bear is native to South America, but the species is classed as vulnerable on IUCN Red List (the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species), meaning they are likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening survival and reproduction improve. With latest estimates forecasting between 2,500 – 10,000 bears left in the wild[1], Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is delighted to be welcoming the two bears and joining the worldwide effort to protect the future of the species.
The two bears have come to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, as part of the EEP, which coordinates the breeding of endangered species across European Zoos. An integrated initiative working across borders to increase levels of endangered species in captivity.
These cute bears are fondly referred to as Spectacled Bears (also known as Andean Bears) due to the white circles of fur that appear around their eyes.  
Two-year-old Madidi has come from Chester Zoo and arrived at her new home at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm last week, whereas Rasu arrived last month from Zurich Zoo.
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm worked closely with Chester Zoo to create the ideal environment for the two bears to share and hopefully welcome their first bear cubs. It is one of the biggest Spectacled Bear enclosure in the UK. 
It is fair to say both bears are making the most of their generous enclosure. Since meeting her furry friend, Madidi has been exploring her new home, climbing up trees and surveying her new territory, as well as getting to know her new mate Rasu.
Chris Wilkinson, curator of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm said “We are delighted to receive such genetically important bears and be part of the global effort to protect the future of the species. Madidi is settling in well and the two bears have hit it off straight away, so we are looking forward to what may happen with their breeding potential. The process is all very natural, and it is promising that they are getting along so well this early on in the introduction process. We’re looking forward to the prospect of welcoming our own tiny Spectacled Bear cubs in the near future.”
Visitors to the zoo over the summer, will be some of the first to meet the new Spectacled Bears.  Noah’s Ark will be posting photos, videos, and periodic updates on Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm’s Facebook page and on Instagram.
Spread across an incredible 100-acres and surrounded by lush farmland just outside Bristol, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has transformed from a dairy farm to award-winning attraction over the past two decades. 
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Photo Credit: Alistair Heap/PA Wire
It’s love at first sight - two Spectacled Bears meet at their new home at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
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