A couple based in Connecticut, USA, are claiming that the government has illegally spied on them and their property via a bear with a camera. Yes, you did read that correctly. The couple has accused the state of fixing a camera to a wandering bear in order to film the goings on on their property.
Mark and Carol Brault have filed an injunction against the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Apparently the bear frequently visits the couple’s 117-acre property and was spotted wearing a device.
Allegedly the bear entered the property wearing an identifying tag and a camera. The bear did not have a warrant to search the property, according to the couple’s attorney, John R Williams. “He noticed that the bear now had not just an ear tag but a collar, and so he got on his camera and zoomed in on the bear, and not only did it have a collar, but the collar had a camera on it,” Williams said.
“It’s like sending in a robot, I guess, with a camera on, and you can’t do that without getting a warrant,” Williams told the Connecticut Post.
Brault had previously been caught up in a lawsuit for allegedly feeding bears in violation of the town’s laws. Brault also happens to be part-owner of Nature Havens, which offers visitors the opportunity to see wildlife, including bears.
It’s common practice for wildlife management to attach GPS devices, tags, and sometimes cameras in order to monitor the habits and whereabouts of the animals. It would be nearly impossible to try to control a wild bear enough to actually carry out espionage on a specific location, however. Though, allegedly, a beluga whale was trained by the Russian military to carry out espionage activities in the Baltic Sea and was found wearing a harness for mounting a camera.