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Three Bald Bears Perplex Experts

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posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 08:32 AM
November 05, 2009
Bears in a zoo in eastern Germany have lost their fur, but international experts cannot work out why.

Three spectacled bears in Leipzig Zoo are in various states of baldness, with the worst being hairless all over.

Zoo curator Gerd Noetzhold said he had discovered that zoos throughout Europe and further afield had encountered the same problem, but no-one knew why.

One expert suggested it could be caused by climate and the diet of the bears, whose native habitat is South America.

The bears come from the Andean mountains of Ecuador, Peru and northern Bolivia

Dolores has lost almost all her hair at Leipzig Zoo

This is what happens when animals are taken out of their natural habitat so man can go to the local Zoo and see them, very sad, I remember through the years going to the Detroit Zoo and observing the two Elephants and always thought how sad they looked.

posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 09:00 AM
Yeah it looks like some type of environmental stress issue. Very sad indeed!


posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 10:19 AM
I don't think Zoos are cruel as long as the animals are looked after well. These animals were clearly not however.

posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 11:00 AM

Originally posted by Zoopedia
I don't think Zoos are cruel as long as the animals are looked after well. These animals were clearly not however.

I don't think Zoo's are cruel for the most part either, but again that is not where these beautiful animals on our planet belong. I consider the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, Michigan a world class Zoo, their Bird Sanctuary Atrium and Aquarium are amazing.

posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 11:03 AM
The bears are shedding the camo. in preperation mmm m

Or the bears know its about to get really really hot, mother nature told them?

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 01:55 PM
That bear does not look happy... also I never knew a bears skin was a sort of bluey-greyish colour.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 07:55 PM
reply to post by krax

Actually from what I have noticed is that an animal’s skin is the same or relatively the same as the fur above the skin. I have owned many pets of varying color and depending on the color of their fur their skin can be light colored (pinkish) or grey/blue/black in color. This difference in skin color matches the fur color above so that if an animal has spots their skin normally does as well. At least this is from what I have seen over the years. My dog no in fact has multi colored skin that matches her fur, though instead of white like the fur her skin is pink.

As for these bears it almost seems like mange but I would think they would have thought to check that out. Maybe they are under some other sort of stress.


posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 09:21 PM
Wow they look kind of cool without fur, though I wish this was something occurring naturally. It wouldn't be an environmental issue if it's only affecting the bears. It must be some type of unnatural illness.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 11:05 PM
The color of an animal's skin can be radically different from the color of it's fur, actually. For instance, one of my cats has brown fur and pink skin. Polar bears have translucent fur and black skin, which aids in heat absorption.

In the case of these three bears, it could definitely be a case of stress-induced fur loss. I assume that they have ruled out a virus, parasite, or a fungus as the cause of this, but that is another common cause of hair loss in animals kept in captivity. It wouldn't necessarily fit, though, if this is affecting spectacled bears in different zoos. Baldness can also be caused genetically, which may be why this species is being affected specifically. Perhaps a combination of a genetic predisposition built into the species, as well as environmental stress, is the cause. That would be my guess.

It could be an environmental issue in the way that these bears are outside of their natural environment and their new environment is causing stresses that are affecting the bears and making them shed. They aren't eating the same exact foods or being exposed to the same exact things that they would in the wild.

[edit on 12/27/2009 by ravenshadow13]

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 11:28 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

Tried to find an update on this earlier today, nothing new, thanks for your interesting input and knowledge on animals.

posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 11:54 PM
Trichotillomania, the pulling out of one's hair due to stress, has been observed
in captive gorillas. Though it looks too thorough for Trich are they sure the bears aren't rubbing or gnawing away their hair?? Perhaps this species is
genetically less able to deal with stress and thus more prone to sudden hair loss. Sudden hair loss is ALSO a stress reaction affecting animals, humans and
birds (feathers instead of hair of course!)

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