Happy New Year! Here’s an interesting video to check out on the first day of 2024.
A bear came across a wolf den and decided to investigate…
The comments left by the group that posted this left this information:
Here we would like to explain some circumstances that led to several typical questions in the comments:
(1) We did not shoot video directly. The footages with bear and wolves were taken by a camera-trap that was fixed around 10 meters far and 4 meters high (it is given in the movie, too). So, we could not scare the bear in that dramatic moment.
(2) We put the camera-trap in a few days after this finding, being already convinced that the pups are normally nursed by their mother.
(3) The bear came to the wolf den in a week after our last visit there. So there was not even a negligible amount of our smell at the den. We checked the camera-trap in a week after the bear attack.
(4) A part of the event was not registered by the camera-trap, because the bear appeared out of the working distance of the movement detector of the camera-trap. As to bear, we put together all the video-shots, which we gained by the camera-trap;
(5) We did not crawl into the wolf den to film the pups. We saw the pups from outside and took their video with putting out a hand.
(6) We gained some arguments suggesting that bear’s attack led to the pups’ death (being eaten or graved with sand). However we still trying to clarify that by tracing their behaviour. In the comments given somebody said that in the movie there are more questions than answers. Zoologically (the authors are professional zoologists) it is not much important to get know how the pups died i.e. they were eaten or suffocated being under sand fallen on them or even if they were rescued by the parents. The latter is lovely, of course.
The most important knowledge things from the video are:
(1) A brown bear has attacked a wolf den with pups trying to kill them with a purpose (food or interspecific interference with wolves);
(2) The parent wolves were afraid to approach and attack a bear destroying their den with pups. All others are of secondary importance.
As to the questions about bringing human scent to the burrow den as a possible cause of driving bear to come, we will answer in several theses.
- First, in this forested area we live and work there are quite many people the terrain-wide particularly in the warm season. It was especially common presence of human in that place with the wolf burrow has been, because it was situated about 150 meters from a forestry road and about 1 km from a hamlet.
- Second, in Belarus bears being stressed by human all the time (hunters, antler searchers, tourists, forestry workers, collectors of berries and mushrooms etc.) are strongly afraid of people and avoid places recently visited by human.
- Third, here bears know all the burrows in their home ranges and they regularly inspect them by trying to steal up cubs of badgers or red foxes or their parents at a burrow or catch wolf pups. So, it was nothing surprising that the bear appeared at that wolf burrow-den.
- Fourth, that bear came to the wolf burrow-den in a week after we carefully visited the burrow surrounding and almost in two weeks after we filmed the pups. So, there was no any our smell definitely.