What is it with grizzly bears and cameras lately? After the terrifying video we shared yesterday, here’s one more light-hearted. Educational YouTuber Tom Scott set up two GoPro cameras on a trash can, trying to see if they were “bear-proof.” A grizzly bear snatched one of them, played with it, and eventually threw it in a pond where it switched off. But what makes this video extra interesting is that the bear returned. It took the camera out of the pond, somehow turned it back on, and took a selfie.
Bear-proof gear? What?
Okay, before we move on, let me briefly dive into the concept of “bear-proof” gear because I think ti’s really interesting to share. Tom visited bear territory at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana, known for its bear-resistant product certification program.
At the Center, you can observe these magnificent creatures in a safe and controlled environment, but you can also get a product certified as bear-resistant. And yeah, you guessed who tests the products: bears themselves.
Tom’s video above is a follow-up to this video from the Center:
Setting up the GoPros
Obviously, Tom wanted to check whether GoPro cameras are bear-proof. He set the first camera on top of a trash can – a common target for these curious beasts. Despite the bear knocking it off and the scorching summer sun, this camera held out for an impressive 30 minutes, recording until it overheated. As the bear retreat to its den, Tom retrieved the first camera without incident.
Tom set the second GoPro inside the trash can, and this one was destined for a more exciting fate. Tom and his team added some honey and peanut butter to attract the animal, and the saga began. The bear knocked out the camera of the can, carried it off, chewed on it, and finally discarded it into a murky pond. To thought it was lost forever, but this camera turned out to be the star of this wild adventure.
Retrieving the footage and the bear selfie
Thanks to the dedicated team at the Center, who found the camera during a scheduled pond cleaning, an array of amazing footage re-emerged along with the camera. The camera itself was pretty beaten up, but it survived, and the memory card was still intact.
The recovered camera told a story of the bear’s curiosity, intelligence, and raw power (don’t mess with those claws, people!). The footage provided thrilling sequences, including the bear’s efforts to open the trash can, and its eventual attention on the camera after it got covered in my favorite breakfast combo.
The unexpected highlight, as I mentioned, was an unintentional, close-up “selfie” of the grizzly. It returned to the pond about five hours after it had discarded the camera into it. Somehow, it turned the camera back on, and took a selfie footage. In a humorous twist, Tom declared these final moments of the video entirely orchestrated by the bear as “public domain.” I don’t know what PETA would have to say about it, I just hope they won’t sue Tom as they did in the infamous “monkey selfie” case. Yes, PETA, I will forever be trolling you because of this.
So, I guess it’s safe to say now that, other than being water, shock, and dirt-proof, GoPro cameras can now be certified as bear-proof too. But since we are not immune to those massive claws, I’d say you stay away from grizzly bears and just observe them from a safe distance.