Viral Video Of Baby Bear Climbing Back Up Mountain Is Actually Kind Of Sad
He and his mom were being harassed 💔
A video has been making the rounds in recent days showing a young bear cub scaling the side of a mountain after sliding away from his mother. But while many have interpreted the scene as an uplifting one, highlighting the little bear's perseverance, there's more to the clip than meets the eye.
In reality, it's an example of human behavior at its worst.
The footage, taken by an aerial drone in the Magadan Region of eastern Russia, begins by showing a mother bear and her cub scrambling to reach the top of a steep, snowy incline. The climb is a difficult one for both, but even more so for the cub. He is seen sliding down after his first attempt at the ascent.
It's unclear at first if the bears are in a panic to escape the drone buzzing in front of them and racing in for a close-up — but as the cub finally nears the top, his mother suddenly takes an aggressive stance against the airborne intruder.
And that causes the little cub to slip yet again, this time even farther down.
The video contains a curious jump cut following the mother bear's swipe and cub's subsequent slip. Turns out, the cub had slid near the top yet again, but the lead-up to it has been edited from the clip.
One can only wonder if the drone operator's actions contributed to that slip, too?
Fortunately, the dramatic footage does close with a happy conclusion; the bear cub eventually makes it to safety. But while that's worth celebrating, the actions of the person filming are actually the opposite.
Here's how biologist Dr. Jacquelyn Gill responded to the clip:
The video going around of a bear cub scrambling up a snowy cliff to get back to its distressed mother is being shared as a heartwarming metaphor for persistence. It’s not. It’s a dangerous stunt by an irresponsible drone operator who should know better.— Dr. Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill) November 4, 2018
Although drones are sometimes used to study wild animals' natural behavior, it appears that the bears in this clip were being used as unwitting props — and things could have ended badly as a result.
"Harassing wildlife for a photograph, a selfie, or a video is never okay," Gill wrote on Twitter. "Respect animals by giving them space, and don’t share posts where animals are clearly in distress or in danger just because someone wanted to go viral."