Nashville Zoo Announces Arrival of Male Andean Bear

Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a 10-year-old male Andean bear, Pinocchio, from Salisbury Zoo in Maryland.

Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a 10-year-old male Andean bear, Pinocchio, from Salisbury Zoo in Maryland. He arrived in July and underwent a standard quarantine period and has slowly been acclimating to his new habitat.

Nashville Zoo was selected to receive this male bear as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Andean Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP)® and he will eventually be introduced to Nashville Zoo's female Andean bear, Luka, as a breeding partner. The Andean Bear SSP® helps to ensure genetically diverse populations of this species in human care. Pinocchio has a unique origin story and was originally rescued as an abandoned cub from the rural countryside of Ecuador and was ultimately deemed unfit to be released back into the wild. He arrived at Salisbury Zoo in 2017 and successfully fathered three cubs during his time there. Nashville Zoo is excited to continue the conservation efforts for this vulnerable species and hope to replicate Pinocchio's prior breeding success. Nashville Zoo's former male Andean bear, Muniri, did not experience breeding success with Luka during his time here and has moved to the Potawatomi Zoo in Indiana.

Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus) are native to the Andes and outlying mountain regions in South America and are the only bear found on this continent. This species is also known as spectacled bears for the lighter fur and coloration around their eyes. Andean bears are considered vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature due to deforestation. In recent decades, Andean bear populations have been on a rapid decline mainly because of habitat loss and there are an estimated 18,000 bears in the wild. Nashville Zoo partners with The Andean Bear Conservation Alliance, a Peru-based organization working to protect this species in the wild through population monitoring and habitat restoration. Additionally, Nashville Zoo provides radio collars to track bears in their home range and better study their habitat use.

Guests at Nashville Zoo can visit the award-wining habitat, Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear, to see Pinocchio or Luka. For more information, visit

About Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization celebrating and an accredited member of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums, exemplifying the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Nashville Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives in our backyard as well as around the world. With support from the Nashville community, donors, and sponsors, the Zoo is ranked the number one tourist attraction in Middle Tennessee and welcomes more than one million guests annually. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike just six miles south of downtown. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit