As he tears away branches, perched against fallen trees of the Vilcanota River near Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, the two-metre tall wild Andean Spectacled Bear is unaware of an Inkaterra Explorer-guide, and his three inquisitive accomplices, watching him in awe.
Munching on leaves, his feast for the day, the Andean Bear sits camouflaged amid the dense bushes, opposite the explorer-guides. It isn’t until he pads through a baron area that, binoculars aside, they get a clear view of their furry friend, his dense, black fur shining in the Peruvian sunlight.
Inkaterra head of explorer-guides, Braulio Puma, explains it is most probably the same bear that has been sighted near Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel before, due to the unique pattern on the bear’s nose – an identification similar to a human fingerprint.
The Inkaterra Andean Bear Rescue Centre, located within the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel property, a project aiming to rehabilitate endangered Andean bears found in inadequate captivity conditions, studies and conserves the only bear species native to the Southern Hemisphere. Sightings like this one confirm the importance of the project, and the preservation of the unique biodiversity of the Machu Picchu cloud forest.