Milne

Unknown Bear of South America.

Etymology: Asheninca (Arawakan) word.

PP'hysical description: Large bear. All-black color. Powerful claws. Behavior: Eats ants.

Distribution: Gran Pajonal Range, Ucayli Department, Peru.

Significant sighting: Leonard Clark came across a large, black bear tearing apart an ants' nest in a decaying tree in northern Peru. It dived into the river ahead of his raft. He was able to shoot and kill it, but piranhas got to the body before he could retrieve it.

Possible explanation: The Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), South America's only bear, is smaller and has distinctive white markings on its face.

Source: Leonard Clark, The Rivers Ran East (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1953).

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