Featured video: bears work together to take down camera traps

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Scientists with the (WCS) have captured stunning images of families taking down camera traps in Bolivia’s Apolobamba National Natural Area of Integrated Management. In one series of images a mother and her two cubs bite, claw, and whack one of the cameras. However even as they destroy one camera, the bears’ antics are captured by another as researchers typically set several cameras to capture different views of animals, a process that helps them identify individuals.

“Andean bears are very curious animals,” explains Lilian Painter WCS Bolivia Country Director. “But they are also very strong, and the cameras are like big flashing toys. Still we were able to record important images that will allow us to better understand their distribution, abundance and behavior, and conserve these delightful bears into the future.”

Andean bears (), also known as spectacled bears, are the only species found in Latin America and are sole surviving member of the short-faced bear family, which once included the world’s largest bear, the giant short-faced bear that stood three meters (10.5 feet) on its hind legs. Andean bears are currently categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List and faces a number of periled including deforestation, fragmentation, mining, roads, fossil fuel exploitation, and in some cases poaching.

Still of Andean bears in Bolivia cooperatively taking down a camera trap. Image courtesy of WCS.

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Ina Mitchell
Ina Mitchell

If they're so smart, maybe they can learn to spring animal traps.

Ina Mitchell
Ina Mitchell

HA! I love it!

Susan Lee

Anyone consider that the tiny clickscoming from inside the equipment might just sound like juicy-possibly-tasty bugs to be eaten by the first nest-tearer? That, too, there might be a scent from the electronic innards similar to that of some kinds of honey so that the natural response would be to OPEN that probably-bug-and-honeyed black "nest"? You guys are still thinking like dumb humans. 🙂

Gustavo Lorenzana

There are black bears (Ursus americanus) in Mexico, that is, Latin America… thus, Andean bears are the only bear species found in South America

Wai Ling  Liu

nice thanks

WildCam Australia

now that's innovative from a bear point of view , I bet their annoyance was all to do with them all forgetting their sun spectacles (being a spectacle bear). Perhaps now someone will think to use 940IR flash trail cams instead the old rudimentary IR and traditional annoying flash non stealth cams.