Collar Camera Offers Unique Glimpse of Life as a Grizzly Bear
They are regarded as among the most ferocious mammals on the planet, inspiring fear and awe throughout the lands they roam -- but as it turns out, your life probably is more eventful than a Grizzly's. As part of an ambitious experiment to get a peak at an urso-centric take on the world, authorities from Alaska Department of Fish and Game attached a camera-mounted collar to Boar 6041, a 700 pound Grizzly bear -- capturing dozens of hours of up-close and personal footage of the animals's daily life. What results provides a unique glimpse at a lifestyle surprisingly mundane, but at the same time threatened.
Although Boar 6041 may be amongst many grizzly bears residing in the Copper River Basin of Southcentral Alaska, he is easily the most well-documented. Having been mounted with a GPS collar camera, every 15 minutes of the bear's routine -- from foraging for food and just wandering around, to eating and meeting females -- just bear stuff, really. It's surprisingly fascinating though, and with a good cause in mind, says Alaska fish and Game:
Biologists want to understand the effects of high hunter harvest rates on this bear population as well as the bears’ impacts on the moose population in this area. This pilot study using these new devices is part of the Nelchina Brown Bear Project, and it promises unprecedented insights into their behavior.
State biologist Bruce Dale said viewing the videos is highly addictive. “The clips are quite short, so you only get a glimpse of what they are up to. If they are not sleeping, you really want to see the next clip to find out what happens next.”
All told, those 20-second clips captured every 15 minutes by the collar camera yielded nearly 3 days worth of footage of Grizzly life. In this longer clip, there are a few moments of interest, but mostly it's just what we should probably expect: life as usual.
Still, there's something quite mesmerizing about this footage, particularly as Grizzlies have disappeared from much of their native habitats in the continental United States. For more highlights from the collar cameras, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.