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Spectacled Bear

Spectacled Bear

The spectacled bear gets its name from the distinctive rings of white or beige fur around its eyes. These markings stand out against the rest of the bear, which is usually black or dark brown, and look like eyeglasses (or spectacles).

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Catering at the Zoo

On-Site Programs

Species Survival Plan (SSP)

When breeding animals of a limited population, such as those found in zoos, care must be taken to ensure genetic diversity. SSPs help maintain this diversity. Zoos all over the world cooperate by lending their animals to other zoos so that they can mate and produce genetically diverse (and therefore healthier) offspring. This is coordinated through the use of breeding registries called studbooks.

For more information about SSPs visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums SSP page.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo currently participates in SSPs for threatened and endangered species including:

SSP Logo This logo indicates SSP species at individual exhibits at the zoo.

Amur tiger, Andean condor, Asian elephant, black and white ruffed lemur, golden lion tamarin, Humboldt penguin, ocelot, red panda, red wolf, ring-tailed lemur, siamang, snow leopard, Andean bear, Turkmenian markhor and white-lipped deer, among others.

The zoo also publishes the studbook for the endangered Turkmenian markhor, Armenian mouflon, fairy bluebird and white-handed gibbon. Our zoo is also nationally recognized for its successful breeding program for Asian elephants.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo holds the studbook for the Turkmenian markhor.



A studbook documents an animal's pedigree (genetic history) and breeding history. This tool allows zoos to track and manage each individual, cared for in AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, as part of a single ex situ (in captivity) population. Zoos all over they world may participate in international breeding efforts to maintain endangered or threatened species. Recommendations are made as to which animals should be paired to maintain the greatest genetic diversity. Lack of genetic diversity is often a cause of infertility as well as many other diseases.


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