‘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.


Photo: spencer77/flickr


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

B Jackson
BJ J4 years ago

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

Alicia Westberry
Alicia Westberry4 years ago

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

David V.
David V4 years ago


Jude Hand
Judith Hand4 years ago

Well, that was different.

Manel Dias
Manel Dias4 years ago

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.

Deborah F.
Deborah F4 years ago


Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder4 years ago


Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter4 years ago


Isabel Araujo
Isabel Araujo4 years ago

Thank you.