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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Seedy bear with the right tools

Chimineas Ranch, October, 2010.

We stuffed a punctured can of cat food down into a crack in the log, and a seedy black bear found it 16 days later.

It was 2:45 in the morning.

In no time Bruin located the bait precisely. and put its tools to work. 

Two minutes later it ripped the wood back, and exposed the can.

It had the right tools, but it didn't know how to use them to open the can.

I've seen captive Himalayan bears open the snap top on a can of pop with one claw.

This bear was equipped to do just that, but gave up and left the can where it found it.

The visit lasted 5 minutes.

An idle bear in a cage of course will spend endless hours solving the problem of opening a snap top can.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful bear. It looks young to me--what is your professional opinion of its age? I'm sorry it didn't get to eat its prize!


Camera Trap Codger said...

I would say it had passed its second summer, and was a yearling (i.e., was in its second year of life).

biobabbler said...

oh, no. For some reason that strikes me as so sad. Apparently I'd gotten sucked into the drama (go, bear, go!) and didn't realize it. Went all non-biologist (instead of GOOD, non-wild food BAD.) REALLY want to come that puppy out. =)

randomtruth said...

Such a terrific series. If you're interested, the burrs are from Torilis arvensis, Hedge Parsley. It's a nasty, non-native invasive that is spreading quickly (as you can see).

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks RT, I remember talking about that -- hmmm, another native mammal aiding and abetting weeds!