SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – There are two new spectacles at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

Spectacled bears, that is.

The Syracuse zoo Friday introduced its two newest animals – a pair of 350-pound, 11-year-old brother bears named Kahless (pronounced Kay-less) and Morath (Mo-rath).

The endangered species are called spectacled because light-colored circular markings around their eyes give the appearance of wearing glasses or spectacles.

There are only about 2,000 spectacled bears left in the wild, where they face destruction of their habitat and illegal hunting. The bears are native to Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in South America.

The bears at Rosamond Gifford Zoo are two of only 71 that live in captivity under the Spectacled Bear Species Survival Plan, said Zoo Director Anne Baker.

Born in Chicago, the brothers moved to Erie, Pa., when they were 2 years old and to Syracuse in early September. The brothers spent the last month in quarantine and now are ready to explore their newly refurbished home.


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