Baby bear encounter!


During the next few months, there is a unique opportunity to go on an Andean bear spotting tour to see a mother bear (Delia) with her cub from a distance (also excellent photo opportunities). At the moment, only very adventurous and fit people can participate: walking distance is between 2 or 3 days, only to encounter the bears. Within a few months, mother bear and cub will return to closer and more accessible areas (closer to the road).

Read the full story:

On the 13th August 2014, Delia, the latest wild Andean bear to have been collared by the Andean Bear Foundation for vital research purposes, was located nesting with a cub in the high Ecuadorian Andes of the Cayambe Coca national park. Incredibly, Armando Castellanos, the ABF president, captured the first ever video footage of an Andean Bear cub in a nest in the paramo habitat. It is testament to the Andean bears resilient and impervious nature that they are born in such extreme and exposed conditions as those in which Delia’s occupied nest was discovered. Due to the intensely remote and harsh conditions of the paramo, until now; no previous such encounter has ever been documented.

We estimate that Delia and the cub will stay in the nest for another 3 to 4 weeks; though we are now provided with the perfect opportunity to determine exactly how long Andean bear cubs stay in the nest for in this environment. There are innumerable discoveries to be made regarding the relationship between mother and cub both during and after the initial nesting period. This research and future satellite telemetry studies of Andean bears will enable us to determine important bear nesting sites, providing significant emphasis for the extension of existing protected areas, and for the more stringent enforcement of environmental law. We estimate that the mother and cub will stay together for a minimum of a further 9 months before separating, providing us with ample time to document an excellent life story whilst collecting crucial species information.


Thank you for your interest in an Andean Bear and Mountain Tapir spotting adventure! Remember you will not only try spotting wild spectacled bears and mountain tapirs in the Andes Mountains. By choosing this form of ecotourism, you help support the investigation, protection and reintroduction of these species in the wild.

The adventure (min. age 14) starts in the town of Papallacta, famous for its hotsprings, about 40 km from Quito. From there we will enter the “Cayambe Coca National Park”, in Ecuador. The park has an area of around 4000 km2 and the location where we will be looking for bears consists mainly of paramo (= vegetation composed of giant rosette plants, shrubs and grasses) and lakes. The reserve is part of Quito’s water supply. Besides bears and tapirs, also keep a lookout for Andean foxes, deer, rabbits, Andean Condor,… and if you are lucky, the Pudu!

(c) Armando Castellanos