Spectacled ‘Paddington’ bears venture out at Machu Picchu

The usual hordes of visitors have not come to Peru’s Machu Picchu in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic and its associated travel restrictions.

Instead, nature has taken their place.

A couple of spectacled bears – mother and cub – were spotted wandering around the famous ruins on Wednesday.

Footage of the pair was taken by a worker from Peru‘s culture ministry.

Spectacled bears, also known as the Andean bear, are the only species of bear native to South America.

They are generally shy but they often make their way down from the mountains in search of food.

Spectacled bears are most famous as the inspiration for Paddington Bear, a fictional character who came to life after British author Michael Bond bought a teddy bear for his wife near London’s Paddington Station in 1958.

Paddington Bear loved marmalade and came from “deepest darkest Peru”, although the bears seen at Machu Picchu appeared not to be carrying any of the orange-flavoured sandwich spread.

Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains, is not the only place that has seen animals return while the tourists are kept away.

Last year, during the early months of the pandemic, ducks were seen wandering along the roads of central Paris, deer in urban Japan, pumas in Chile, peacocks in Dubai, cows sitting on beaches in Corsica, and mountain goats in the Welsh town of Llandudno.

In the Indian city of Mumbai, the usual migration of flamingos involved larger numbers than usual, with many believing this was due to the cleaner air and quieter streets.

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