Photograph by Jan Woitas, Picture Alliance/DPA/Photoshot
National Geographic News
Published December 8, 2009
A spectacled bear named Dolores (pictured) is sporting an unconventional look after losing almost all her hair.
Zoo experts are working to cure the bears' non-life-threatening condition, zoo curator Gerd Noeltzhold told the BBC.
Spectacled bears—also called Andean bears—live in the mountains of South America and are the continent's only bear species.
"We were very scared, because it was the first time we had seen this," Castellano said.
Keepers in Ecuador put that bear, which had previously been fed human food—including Coca-Cola—on its natural diet of fruits and bamboo, and added enrichment items, such as toys and exotic foods, into the bear's enclosure. Four months later the fur grew back.
Similar cases have occurred in a Bolivian zoo and in Peru, Ximena Velez-Liendo, a spectacled bear specialist, said by email.
(Related: "Polar Bear Triplets Born in Zoo—A First?")
It's unknown whether a lack of nutrition is the culprit in the Leipzig bears' situation.
Until a cure is found, keepers have been applying medical ointment to the bears' skin, which becomes itchy without its protective fur.
Scientists recently captured a rare video of an oarfish, but what's the real significance of the underwater footage?
Skywatchers can witness the biggest supermoon of 2013 and several other lunar events this week.
Police are still looking for environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval's murderers, while the episode has more Costa Ricans talking about the links between poaching and drug trafficking.
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