What's it like to be a bear? Thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation, you can find out. They attached cameras to two different bears and you can see the results for yourself.

This was a very interesting attempt many many years ago by the Missouri Department of Conservation although I've just recently located the video results. It's called "Bear Cam" and here's what they were trying to do:

Wildlife researchers in Missouri are using video cameras attached to wild bears to help them learn more about their habits and behaviors. The bears are outfitted with the cameras after initially being trapped, sedated, radio collared and released during a multi-year bear study. This video is from cameras attached to two different bears (weights 425 & 125 lbs) captured in south central MO (Shannon & Texas counties).

My favorite part is near the beginning where you can see the bear looking at the dudes with cameras probably wondering what they'd taste like.

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It was a pretty ingenious way to get a bear's viewpoint on the world. It remains on the bear for a period of time and then detaches so the conservation agents can retrieve the camera. Brilliant.

The data they retrieved from these bear cams were a part of the Missouri Black Bear Project. Their website shared part of what they learned:

Initial population research, which began in 2010, suggested a 2012 statewide estimated population of just under 300 bears. In order to model statewide bear numbers and estimate population trajectory, MDC began a project to measure reproductive and survival rates of female bears in Missouri.

That led to the first ever bear hunt in Missouri this past summer in an attempt to manage the population. They are fascinating animals, but a danger when their increased numbers makes it more likely they'll encounter humans in the wild.

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