Spectacled Bear Eyes Up Fruit And Veg Xmas Tree

A spectacled bear devours the tasty nibbles zookeepers attached to a very special Christmas tree.

Footage obtained by Newsflash shows how the adorable male ursine approaches the spruce before tucking into the various fruit and veg keepers at Vienna Zoo stuck on it in his enclosure.

The bear makes sure not a single slice of apples or sweet peppers remains. In the end, he slowly trots over the toppled tree and leaves.

Bettina Schragner is a keeper and bear expert at the zoo in the Austrian capital.

In a statement on 21st December obtained by Newsflash, Bettina said: “We decided to erect a tree at their enclosure which we then decorated with different fruit and vegetables.

Schoenbrunn Zoo/Newsflash

“We did so with the Christmas season in mind.”

She explained: “The enclosure is inhabited by two brothers. They came to our zoo from Denmark last summer.”

Bettina revealed: “One of the bears immediately bounced onto the tree. He ate with visible delight.

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“He first devoured the ‘carrot lametta’ before eating all the other different fruits and vegetables.”

Vienna Zoo Director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck: “Spectacled bears are omnivorous animals. Fruit and veg is the major part of their diet.”

The German zoologist added: “Preparing this special kind of Christmas tree was our keepers’ lovely idea.”

Photo shows Spectacled bear at Schoenbrunn Zoo, undated. The animal enjoyed Christmas tree decorated with goodies. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

The zoo boss explained that the enclosure had only recently been redesigned and renovated.

Hering-Hagenbeck said: “We set up numerous live trees to create an authentic environment for the spectacle bear brothers. You can see them climb a lot.”

The duo shares their enclosure with the zoo’s coati.

Vienna Zoo spokeswoman Barbara Feldmann explained: “These smaller bears did not engage in eating from the Christmas trees. It was a frosty morning. They enjoyed staying inside a bit longer.”

The spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is native to the Andes Mountains in South America. It is also known as South American bear and Andean bear.

The diet of the spectacled bear is mostly herbivorous. However, the species occasionally engages in carnivorous behaviour.

Spectacled bears are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to the loss and fragmentation of their habitat.

Photo shows Spectacled bear at Schoenbrunn Zoo, undated. The animal enjoyed Christmas tree decorated with goodies. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) emphasised: “Spectacled bears are hunted for their meat, skin, fat and claws, which are all in demand locally.”

The NGO added: “The gall bladders are valued in traditional oriental medicine and can fetch a high price on the international market; recent estimates put the price at USD 150 (GBP 118) for one, which is five times the average monthly wage in Ecuador.”

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Experts from the WWF also said there is a market for the bears’ paws.

Vienna Zoo, or Tiergarten Schoenbrunn, established by the royal Austrian-Hungarian Habsburg Family in the park of Schoenbrunn Palace in 1752.

Today, the institution, which is the oldest zoo still in operation in the world, contains around 8,000 animals from 700 species on an area of 17 hectares.

Vienna Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Earlier this year, it hit the headlines when it emerged that a fox killed 13 of the zoo’s 15 American flamingos.

Photo shows Spectacled bear at Schoenbrunn Zoo, undated. The animal enjoyed Christmas tree decorated with goodies. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

The fox was able to sneak into the enclosure at night on 15th/16th October after bungling keepers forgot to get the flamingos into the indoor part of their enclosure at the end of their shift, according to local media.

Vienna Zoo officials said in a statement on 25th October obtained by Newsflash: “The whole Tiergarten team deeply regrets this loss.”


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Thomas HochwarterSub-Editor: Joe Golder, Agency: Newsflash

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