Okay, that may have been a little misguiding. As much as I would love to say there was a tiny speaking bear with a blue raincoat jacket and a red hat, I would be writing a story not an article. The real story is about Paddington’s inspired species, the spectacled bear, which is endangered and the only surviving native bear in the whole of South America. Right at this moment, they are fighting against possible extinction from habitat loss and degradation from us, humans.

Today, there are around 7500 spectacled bears left in the wild, with over 200 hunted every year: a large portion of the population gone! Add this to an even higher percentage from loss of habitat due to other human activities: the deforestation and destruction of forests for illegal crops such as coca and opium poppy; large areas of land taken for cattle farming; and for infrastructure such as far-stretching highways.

There is one thing the movie got right- they absolutely love oranges and fresh fruit as shown by Paddington’s adorable love for marmalade. Also, they are extremely shy and elusive, avoiding contact with humans, unlike Paddington. Known for climbing up trees and building their homes up in the canopies, they are submissive and solitary. How did this non-aggressive lifestyle warrant the hunting and destruction of the species from us?

What can you do to help? What is currently happening to help? At the moment, WWF are fighting for the lives of the spectacled bear population in South America. One of their projects has been quoted from their website ‘WWF-Colombia is currently working with governmental and non-governmental partners to implement priority actions, including finding solutions to conflicts between wild bears and farmers, developing a communication campaign and identifying priority sites for bear conservation in Colombia.’ 
Furthermore, there are many things you can do to help, not just with the spectacled bear, but other endangered species in South America, such as the jaguar. On the WWF website, you can donate, adopt a spectacled bear and protect its habitat, or even spreading awareness is extremely helpful.