AboutZoos, Since 2008


Spec­ta­cled bears in the wild do not like cameras!

pub­lished 24 Octo­ber 2013 | mod­i­fied 13 Sep­tem­ber 2014

A remote cam­era is very use­ful when try­ing to mon­i­tor the dis­tri­b­u­tion, abun­dance and behav­iour of wildlife in a cer­tain area, with­out dis­turb­ing the nor­mal sit­u­a­tion. Unfor­tu­nately these cam­eras, mostly set up as camera-​traps, are vul­ner­a­ble pieces of equip­ment, not to men­tion expen­sive. They are being stolen, and some­times dis­man­tled by poach­ers. The cam­eras are some­times inspected very care­fully by wildlife, and in this process demol­ished by accident.

Emmen zoo58But these rare spec­ta­cled bears in a Boli­vian park act dif­fer­ently. The footage from a series of camera-​trap images released by the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety (WCS) on 22 Octo­ber shows spec­ta­cled bears (Tremarc­tos orna­tus), also known as Andean bears, behav­ing like angry Hol­ly­wood celebri­ties — at least when it comes to hav­ing their pic­ture taken.

The spec­ta­cled bears and cubs repeat­edly sur­round and attempt to dis­man­tle the remote cam­era traps. This behav­iour, demon­strat­ing the bears’ curios­ity, also pro­vides clues to help WCS sci­en­tists bet­ter con­serve them into the future.

The footage was shot in Apolobamba Inte­grated Man­age­ment Nat­ural Area (Área Nat­ural de Manejo Inte­grado Apolobamba), a pro­tected area in the La Paz Depart­ment, Bolivia. It bor­ders Madidi National Park — one of the world’s most bio­di­verse pro­tected areas.

(Source: WCS news and fea­tures, 22.10.2013)

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