Watch: Bear Release Goes Wrong, Huge Grizzly Charges Camera
It’s an astonishing sight, laced with shock and surprise.
Wild animal relocation and releases can be magical moments that fill human hearts with joy.
But one particular moment, involving a grizzly bear in Montana, reveals how unpredictable and frightening wild animals really can be, and how quickly the magic can turn into danger.
Writer and photographer Aaron Teasdale captured the stunning moment while documenting the conflicts between grizzlies and humans for the Sierra Club magazine, Sierra.
Yikes! I now have teeth marks on my camera. For story behind the image, check next issue of Sierra mag for my feature on grizzly bears. pic.twitter.com/9cMFOl8uAA
— Aaron Teasdale (@AaronTeasdale) October 25, 2016
Find out how I got this image in Sierra story about expanding grizzly numbers. Take home message: get used to them. https://t.co/egTsOCuvwV pic.twitter.com/oVy4KvSp2K
— Aaron Teasdale (@AaronTeasdale) December 15, 2016
A short clip of the incident, in which the release goes temporarily wrong, has been shared on Twitter. Thankfully, no humans were harmed, but Teasdale’s camera, on a tripod, did get attacked by the bear, as it raced from the container, only to turn and charge the camera.
Watch a 22-year-old grizzly bear be released by biologists into a remote area of northern Montana. He explodes from the trap and goes straight for writer/photographer Aaron Teasdale’s camera, which he nearly takes with him. Follow him @AaronTeasdale pic.twitter.com/CmZoprXCiX
— Island Hopper TV (@islandhopperTVs) October 28, 2018
The bear can be heard not only attacking the camera, but breathing heavily during the incident. The camera continued to record, despite the attack.
The images caught a lot of eyes on social media.
Releasing a Grizzly Bear into
the backwoods of Montana.
Apparently he hates the Paparazzi!
Only the camera was damaged.
🎥 🐻 💥#ThursdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/mwc7cUmSSi
— Tom Hall ☘ (@TomHall) November 8, 2018
A more in-depth video about the incident, with Teasdale narrating, is published on YouTube. In it, Teasdale gives more information on the back story about why he was there and the relocation process for the bears.
Teasdale noted in his article that as conservation efforts to help save grizzly from extinction have been successful, the success comes at a price. For the grizzly bears.
“Magnificent though they are, grizzlies make for troublesome neighbors and lousy houseguests,” Teasdale wrote in the Sierra piece. “The giant animals are routinely spotted chowing on orchard fruits and scavenging pet food and garbage.
“They’re omnivores that like to eat many of the same things people do—chickens and sheep, for example. They search for fish in the same creeks prized by anglers. In the best cases, this leads to peaceable, never-to-be-forgotten interactions.
“Mama and cubs roaming lakeside in the early morning, say, or a curious yearling ambling across a meadow. To spot a bear in the wild is to be shocked by the power of another ordinary being going about its business.”
“But sometimes bear encounters become conflicts and the conflicts become deadly—usually for the bears. If a grizzly becomes conditioned to human food sources, oftentimes it is euthanized.”
That’s because an animal like the grizzly will be a danger to human life if it is surrounding where human food can be found.
This makes the fact that no one was harmed when the bear went after the camera even more poignant.
The harm to human life would have been beyond tragic. The resulting ending of the life of the bear, after attempts to relocate and save it, understandable, but sad.
The panel of government agencies that oversees the bear popoulation — known as the Interagency Bear Committee — wrote that while bears tend to be “shy” around people, they will attack if they feel threatened. Additionally, “a bear that has been exposed to human food or garbage may become dangerous and aggressive towards people.”
This is why they are being relocated and it means that those who have already gotten to this state, when being relocated, can be even more of a wild card during the release.
And that makes the camera attack video even more powerful in the “untold” story that it reveals.
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