LIMA – Visitors to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu were treated to a rare sighting of a spectacled bear and one tourist caught the encounter on video, Peruvian media said Friday.
The animal was spotted while moving toward the Andean forest surrounding the archaeological site. The video clip, only 14 seconds long, has spread since it was posted Wednesday on Facebook.
The Tremarctos ornatus, South America’s only bear, is a retiring creature who tends to remain in the Andean forests. The species is one of the smallest in the bear family, with a typical male measuring up to 1.9 meters (6 feet) long and weighing 154 kilos (340 pounds).
The name spectacled bear was inspired by the light-colored rings around the creature’s eyes.
Another spectacled bear was seen three months ago by tourists on Huayna Picchu mountain, opposite the Inca citadel.
Near Machu Picchu, a group called Inkaterra operates a reserve hosting five spectacled bears who were rescued from captivity.