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Joaquin the Andean bear down with Tucson again

The newest resident at Reid Park Zoo is an Andean bear named Joaquin, who was born in the zoo in 2002 and is coming home.

He's been spending time in the Animal Health Center as part of standard quarantine procedure, before entering his new public habitat.

Joaquin has received a clean bill of health and is ready to meet zoo guests.

The bear will be taking turns sharing the habitat space with the Zoo's other Andean bear, Oja. Guests hoping to see Joaquin at the Zoo should plan to visit in the afternoons when he will be on habitat.

Joaquin has also spent time in zoos in Philadelphia, West Virginia and Connecticut.

Andean bears live in Andes Mountains and surrounding ranges, with a habitat ranging from western Venezuela to Bolivia.

Also known as "spectacled bears" due to the tan patches often found around their eyes, Tremarctos ornatus ("decorated bear") are omnivores, but mostly eat plants, including fruits, palm trees, cacti and flowers.

They live in trees, using their low claws to climb, and building elevated nests.

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Mining and lumber operations have caused the loss of about 90 percent of their natural habitat in South America.

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Reid Park Zoo

Joaquin the Andean bear