Spectacled Bear

Tremarctos ornatus

Panzor the spectacled bear

October 27th

Dear Diary,

I had a dream last night. The dream had a sensation to it that i have never felt before. The ubiquitous trees and berries and the besieging green of the plants created a hedonistic pleasure I have never felt before in a dream, or even while awake, for that matter. I soon woke up, screaming in despair, finding that it was only vanity beginning to haunt the dusty recesses of my mind. These are trying times. There are fewer than 5000 of my kind left in the world, and these numbers continue to diminish at a seemingly exponential rate, due to the destruction of out habitat and the excessive poaching by the locals. There has still been nothing legally done to protect my species, and if not addressed soon, my species will face the same fate as too many others around here: extinction.

December 30th

Living in these jungles and wetlands of South America has forced us spectacled bears to make several adaptations. The first of these, and what I believe to be the most crucial to our survival, is the ability to climb further up into the Andean trees. This has been a very important adaptation for us for several reasons. One being that it has allowed us to avoid contact with humans, and the significance of that is almost unfathomable. This helps us avoid poachers, and other hunters, along with allowing us to rest and store food with a good vantage point to keep ourselves and our cubs safe. A second adaptation we have made is the increasingly tough molars we have. This has proved advantageous because it has allowed us to consume food that other animals simply cant has has lowered both inter and intraspecific competition. A third and very important adaptation has also been the ability to move from the cloud forest to inhabit other grasslands and even dry forest. This is another way to help us avoid competition and contact with humans.

February 27th

Good afternoon diary. I'll be quite honest, I have been pretty lazy these past couple days. I was really tired and lied around more than usual, and did not eat a whole lot, besides a couple berries. Feeling a little emaciated, I am going to make tonight's meal a small mammal, like a rabbit or a bird. I would say that these mammals are only 5-7% of my diet, with the rest being vegetation, but sometimes you have to eat something with a face. That's my perspective at least. Thinking about it makes me glad that as an adult bear, the only predator I have to worry about are humans, but then again almost every species here has to worry about humans. (Our cubs are preyed upon by jaguars and cougars, but besides that we have no other natural predators, and we do a good job of actively avoiding jaguars and cougars.)

April 11th

Dear Diary,

I have come to a stunning realization. We spectacled bears have it if significantly easier than most other animals around here. You might be wondering how i came to this realization, since our population is declining and we are facing possible extinction. But let me explain why. We are able to find food fairly easily because we can eat food which other animals cannot, like some of the plants and insides of certain trees, which means we face less competition for food. Many other animals must compete heavily within their own species and with other species just to stave off death. We can be more lethargic than some other species because we can eat a wide variety of berries, plants and trees, and in doing this, we also conserve energy. The habitat destruction is just as serious of a problem to many other species as it is to us, and that really makes me feel sorry for those other species.

June 17th

Dear diary,

I feel like i have a parasite in my body, because i am beginning to find that i am always hungry. It might be ascarids, the white worms that feed off the food in the small intestines of animals like me in a parasitic relationship. Because of this, I am going to camp by an easy food source for a while, the Brunelia trees. They are rich in nurtition and a very easy food source. Doing this also creates clearings in the forest, allowing smaller trees to grow, and with it, new life.

August 19th

Good evening diary.

With less to look forward to, I reflect upon the past. I do not remember much of my first year alive living with my mother, however i do remember my early years before I reached maturity. Its funny how things have not changed except for the way i look at them now, as an older bear. The only thing that has changed for me since reaching maturity at about 5 years is my search for a mate once a year from April to June, and that only consists of two weeks every year. I'm not sure anything will ever change. My fear for my way of life hasn't. I know that this fear of habitat loss is not natural, but it is what i have know my whole life. That fear has never changed, and I do not expect it to. I thought change was supposed to be inevitable; that it was the only constant. With that, I go to sleep on a solemn note.