Andean bear Billie-Jean gave birth to two male cubs in November 2014. We've teamed up with Univision's ¡Despierta America! to select names in Quechua and Aymara, the languages of the indigenous communities in the Andes region, the native habitat of Andean bears. Andean bears are known as Ukumari, or simply Ukuku in Quechua, and Hukumari or Jukumari in Aymara. They are said to protect pilgrims, especially musicians and dancers, during their pilgrimage to Q'oylluriti (a festival held high in the Andes mountains). Andean bears are said to oversee or "put order to" the festivities and are conduits between the Apus (gods of the mountains) and the people. Andean bears are known as being loving and happy, seeking harmony and balance in nature.Voting has ended. Winning names will be announced March 26.
About Andean Bears
Andean bears are South America's only bears. Also called spectacled bears, each Andean bear has a unique set of whitish or cream "spectacles" encircling its eyes.
Andean bears live in the Andes and outlying mountain ranges - from western Venezuela through the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, and ending in northwest Argentina. Habitat destruction and hunting pose the greatest threats to their survival.