Fires threaten 'Paddington' bears in Peru

Firefighters have been dispatched to a wildlife preserve in northern Peru to battle a days-old blaze that could threaten the beloved 'spectacled' bear which inspired the popular Paddington bear children's books.

INCAHUASI, PERU (REUTERS) - Firefighters have been dispatched to a wildlife preserve in northern Peru to battle a days-old blaze that could threaten the beloved spectacled bear which inspired the popular Paddington bear children's books. 

The blaze started last Thursday (Nov 17), and is still burning.

Officials say up to 2500 acres may have been scorched.

But officials say there's more to worry about than the land itself.

This wildlife preserve in northern Peru is home to the spectacled bear, already under threat from human encroachment.

The bear is the inspiration for the beloved Paddington bear children's books.

The spectacled bear is the only bear native to South America.

But the World Wildlife Fund says as few as 6,000 spectacled bears may live in the Northern Andes, and that hundreds are hunted down each year in the region.

More crew were being sent into the Laquipampa Wildlife Animal Preserve to fight the fires while officials investigate the cause.