We often note how lucky we are to have the Salisbury Zoo here on Delmarva. With free, year-round access, educational programs, and on-going conservation efforts, the Salisbury Zoo provides entertainment for all ages and interests. Which is why we like to support the Zoo any chance we get. The latest Zoo initiative aims to create a sustainable Andean bear program, which was inspired in large part by the recent birth of the Andean bear cub!

The ‘bury Bear Project’ launched earlier this month, an initiative that will help to support the Zoo’s efforts to educate the community on the endangered bears. The project will include several ‘bury Bear’ activities, the first of which is the ‘Just Bear It’ naming contest, which can be found be clicking here. The naming contest will help select the name for the new Andean bear born earlier this spring. The options are all Spanish names, which is a nod to the South American roots of Andean bears. The names included are:

Sonrisa (smile)

Jefa (the boss)

Espranza (hope)

Milagro (miracle)

Alba (dawn)

Enhorabuena (congratulations)

Encantada (delighted)

Mariquita (ladybug)

The ‘bury Bear Project will feature fun activities all year long, which we will keep you informed of of course. For now, cast your vote, pay a visit to the Salisbury Zoo to see the cub for yourself, and check out some of these fun facts about Andean bears:

  • Andean Bears are the only bear that is native to South America.
  • Andean Bears are the only true vegetarian bear, eating mostly fruit, seeds, leaves and palm sprouts. At the Zoo, the bears snack on fruits, veggies, and special omnivore biscuits, with a love for carrots, sweet potatoes, honey sandwiches and honey and raisins.
  • As an endangered bear, there are as few as 10,000 spectacled bears left in the wild.
  • Cubs weigh less than a pound when they are born, but can grow to weigh up to 300 pounds!
  • Also known as the spectacled bear, the bears have a light coloration around the eyes which resemble spectacles or glasses.
  • Andean Bears are excellent climbers, building tree nests for sleeping.