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‘Critter Cams’ Capture Life from a Bear’s Point of View

‘Critter Cams’ Capture Life from a Bear’s Point of View

Written by Stephen Messenger

Up until recently, little was known about the private lives of bears living in and around Anchorage, Alaska. Sure, the urban-dwelling animals could occasionally be seen strolling through town or rummaging through trash, but now biologists are beginning to get a better idea of what bears are up to when they think no one is watching.

Last summer, officers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game fitted four black bears and two brown bears with collar-mounted ‘critter cams’ to gain insight into their daily routines. The durable devices, set to film 10 second video clips every 20 minutes for a month, are equipped with a self-releasing mechanism along with GPS to help researchers track their movements and to recover them later.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, around 60 hours of up-close and personal bear’s-eye-view footage has been captured on the critter cams so far — which biologists say will help them better manage the animals’ city-going tendencies.

Anchorage residents have long had to deal with bears scouring through their trash for food, worrying biologists that they had grown too dependent on our uneaten leftovers. As it turns out from critter cam footage, however, the bears were found to still fill their stomachs mainly from natural food sources in the wild — though they happily foraged through unsecured garbage most days anyways.

“That’s one of the questions we want to ask: If we could magically get rid of all the garbage, would we still have bears in town?” says researcher Sean Farley. “My guess is we would.”

Interestingly, bears appeared to recognize trash cans with bear-locks, suggesting them to be an effective deterrent. In other words, with an estimated 300 or so bears living in the Anchorage area, interactions in urban spaces will be inevitable, though they needn’t necessarily be messy.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.

 

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Photo: spencer77/flickr

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81 comments

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4:53AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

3:54PM PDT on May 23, 2013

If you live in wildlife country, use commoon sense or you may get some private lessons from your furry neighbors.

6:45PM PDT on May 19, 2013

It was bear territory before himans took over. They deserve their space & we, as humans, need to get over ourselves.

9:11PM PDT on May 13, 2013

cool.

5:34PM PDT on May 13, 2013

Well, that was different.

12:41PM PDT on May 13, 2013

People need to know that these Bears were already there living & breathing even before the mankind started invading & overtaking their territories. Use the brains & make sure these Bears be allowed to roam free as the way they did since stone age. Instead of making plans to eliminate & destroy their lives make sure to Protect them. They deserve & also have the rights of their own to live around Anchorage as long as they want to.

11:24AM PDT on May 13, 2013

thanks.

12:03AM PDT on May 13, 2013

thanx...shared!!!

9:53PM PDT on May 12, 2013

Thanks

9:32PM PDT on May 12, 2013

Thank you.

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