The Andean Bears of “Darkest Peru”

Creative learning activity suitable for 8 years and up.

I’ve been trying to draw bears a lot recently. There’s something so cuddly about them – like teddy bears – but that’s not at all true, and I wouldn’t like to meet one up close – that’s a fact! :/

Here’s a great article about real-life, factual avocado-eating Andean Bears in the Andean Forest – or “Darkest Peru” as Paddington Bear, the best-known fictional Andean Bear would call it 😉

They’re also called “Spectacled Bears”, and if you have a look at their face, you can see why.

You can have a look at the article here::

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/21/rare-andean-bears-flock-to-cloud-forest-to-feast-on-wild-avocados-aoe

Now over to you…

1. Research: read the article – there are a lot of long words in it, but don’t worry if you don’t understand them all. Look up Andean Bears (or Spectacled Bears) on the internet, see what you can find out. Here’s a description of the bears by the people at San Diego Zoo in California that is a bit easier to read!

https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/andean-spectacled-bear

2. Write down all the cool stuff you have found out about the bears – use pen and paper or your computer/tablet. Where do they live? What do they eat? Are they easy to find? Are they endangered?

3. Do you know what “fictional” means? If not, then look it up and find out, and then draw or write (or both!) a story about a fictional bear. This means you can use your imagination. Maybe this fictional bear doesn’t live in the Andes, but in a flat in the city, or a cottage in the countryside. Maybe it is a bank manager or a PE teacher, or even an astronaut!

It’s up to you – this story can be as imaginative and fun as you like!

Finally, here he is, the world’s most famous fictional Andean bear in a clip from the first Paddington film. And don’t forget, he was originally created by author Michael Bond in a series of books for children. Maybe you have some already? If not keep a look out for them, they are great!

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