Authorities in Peru have saved a four-month-old spectacled bear cub from poachers after her mother was attacked by hunters. The endangered bear cub, who may have been destined for the illegal pet trade, was rescued from poachers by Peruvian forestry officials and national police in the city of Chiclayo.
The four-month-old cub is now recovering in Lima's Huachipa Zoo and is receiving specialist care after being caged by hunters for ten days.
According to vet Celia Diaz the young cub was christened Juanita by zoo officials.
"The story of this four-month-old bear cub is really very tragic ... villagers wounded his mother with two cubs.
"She was able to flee, probably injured, with one of the cubs and she abandoned the other, who stayed behind." The villagers caught the cub and kept her in captivity for about ten days. Perhaps because of the food the animal had during this time, she was dehydrated," Diaz said.
According to zoo official Lizette Bermudez, cubs like Juanita are highly-prized items in Peru's lucrative black-market of rare animals.
The spectacled bear is the only bear native to South America and can be found in northern and western areas of the continent from Venezuela to northwestern Argentina.
The World Wide Fund for Nature has said that as few as 6,000 spectacled bears are estimated to remain in the northern Andes, with hundreds hunted down each year in the region.