Polar Bear at a German Zoo Gets Its Paws on a Canon 70-200mm Lens

German photographers Marion and Dieter were visiting the Nuremberg Zoo earlier this month when they came across an odd sight: one of the polar bears named Felix was chomping on a $2,100+ Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS telephoto lens. Apparently another lady was trying to change lenses while standing at the edge of the enclosure, and accidentally let the 70-200mm slip out of her grasp and into Felix’s territory.

The photographers may have had slight smirks on their faces: Dieter shoots with a Nikon D300 and Marion shoots with a Nikon D90. They managed to snap series of photos showing Felix gnawing at the lens, smoking it like a cigar, and flicking it into his pool.

You can find more of the duo’s photos of this event over on their fotocommunity account here, here, and here.

P.S. The couple also regularly visits the zoo to shoot “wildlife” images of the animals. You can find their galleries here.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Markus!

Image credits: Photographs by Marion and Dieter

  • Amadeusz Leonardo Juskowiak

    Now I see how big is polar bear. 70-200 is quite a big lens, and it fits his paws easily :)

  • igor29768

    I hope that the bear haven’t swallow any glass from the lens.

  • peter25253

    not even a polar bear would touch nikon lenses……

  • Josh Ebbers

    The lens looks like it was photoshoped in

  • Chris Adval-Photog

    Can you guys find out if the lens is ok or not? From the photos it still looks fine lol… just some moisture inside the lines or filter it looks like.

  • GlossGreen

    Oh man, that sucks. I’ve been to that zoo and I can see how that happened. There’s a short glass wall overlooking the bear. It’s easy to get good shots there, but also easy to be careless.

  • Scott Hutchison

    It does look shopped in… but then again… my brain has never seen a 70-200 in the jaws of a bear.

  • peter25253

    you really have no clue.. right?

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Polar bears: Definitely not covered by the warranty.

  • guest

    hey, I’d dive in the pool to claim it.

  • Gon

    “A poor lady”, as I see it, if you have one of these lenses, you are anything but poor.

  • mike Burton

    Nice ‘Star 1000000000″ effect TTL

  • walter junior

    love polar bears would rather see it in the wild

  • Ahmed

    It looks like a baby toy in his mouth

  • Goofk

    Really? Are you totally unfamiliar with the concept of saving? Or do these lenses just appear as manna from the gods for all *rich* people?

  • Mansgame

    So that’s why canon L lenses are white…

  • Dave

    Probably because most Nikon users are not stupid enough to do this.

  • Mr. Pogi

    Well what do you expect from a woman?? :O

  • Mr. Pogi

    Well what do you expect from a woman?? :O

  • guest

    You mean because they know Nikon lenses aren’t toys?

  • guest

    You mean because they know Nikon lenses aren’t toys?

  • wickerprints

    That’s an older EF 70-200/2.8L IS USM, not the more recent IS II version–so its market value (prior to being chewed up) was not quite as high as $2100. Still, it’s always unfortunate to see a precision optical instrument in good working order destroyed, no matter who manufactured it. Every lens, every camera, is an instrument to convey someone’s unique artistic vision.

    The jokes and snide comments over brand loyalty are so petty and tired. The only people who seem to get a kick out of such remarks are pimply-faced losers whose lack of social skills is eclipsed only by their lack of actual photographic talent.

  • Amir Asyraf

    No, I think the bear was photoshopped in…

  • Christopher Miller

    Completely agree! I don’t doubt the story or the pictures, but for some reason the lens and the bear don’t look like they’re from the same photo.

  • Ishothesheriff

    Only bears use Canon.

  • Ronald Ford

    I never understood this hatred of Canon by Nikon users and hatred of Nikon by Canon users. Who cares! I can get great pictures using my digital Canon as I can using my fathers digital Nikon and I got the same results using Velvia 35mm film in my old Minolta X-700. IMHO this camera battle is childish and it’s ridiculous.

  • Tai Duangjan

    She want 70-200 f/2.8 IS II but she don’t know how to tell her parents .

  • ceebee

    Not at all funny but a VERY dangerous situation for the bear. What a shame it is that visitors have to be reminded of how to behave in a zoo over and over again.

  • David Lee Tong

    Canon L, polar bear tested LOL…

  • Simalacrum

    That is a horrifying yet simultaneously surprisingly adorable sight to behold.

  • Mocard

    That’s pretty funny.. I like the shot of the lens hood laying on the ground beneath the bear.. but you can sure tell those shots are taken by a Nikon :P

  • Guest2

    …and the polar bear would do the same to claim you.

  • whoopn

    Agreed, but I feel after a comment like that you need to provide proof of your photographic talent…got a link to a flickr account or portfolio of yours?

  • Fred

    Hope the bears are ok. Careless/stupid visitors that put the animals at risk like this should be reprimanded.

  • kyoshinikon

    This reminds me of something I saw at the seattle zoo where the mount on the lady next to me 20D just broke off and fell like 20ft into the giraffe pen. Not only did she lose her white lens but her mount too so she couldnt use the ody

  • Ed

    Is that the camera on the ground in pictures 2 and 3?

  • Brent Hathaway

    I am guessing they learned their lesson…but I hope the bears are ok too.

  • Bill

    It would have been equally funny no matter what brand of lens it was.

  • Corbyn

    Should have put a POLARizer on it; maybe it would have survived then :D

  • Mughees Ahmed

    if it was mine, i would have still gone back to somehow get it….
    just check how sturdy it is that even after being smoked like a cigar by a polar bear the body still hasn’t any visible dents on it….
    not that i would have been able to use it or something but even taking it apart to see how its built would have been great fun…

    i can see the bear doesn’t have the skills for that…

  • Jake Lunniss

    BOOM! You, Sir, get win points.

  • Olens

    The bear is acting as if it has found Nirvana: it finally got to hold a real Canon L series lens.

  • ├×├│rrstein K. Berg

    Look like the polarbear didn’t like his close-ups :-) Maybe the photographer shot too many shots of the bear’s bad side.

  • polarbear

    Why would the bear have to be covered ? It still looks fine to me.

  • tarandus

    I like the way the bear throw it away………canon ha ha….

  • maloner

    Geeze, lighten up. A little schadenfreude never hurt anyone.

  • DeeWee

    Pretty sure you can find someone willing to sell you polar bear insurance though!

  • Nilson

    That was precisely what I was wondering: the bear makes it look like one of those keyrings rather than a mid-sized telephoto.

  • Nilson

    Ought to keep an open eye for not falling victim to an ebay listing any time soon (a dodgy zoo keeper’s account, perhaps) for a “slightly marked” 70-200mm Canon lens sold for a lower-than-average price!

  • tomfoolery

    Maybe next time step away from the edge when changing lenses? Duh…