Black Bear Hijacks Photographer’s DSLR and Tries Its Paw at Photography

Last month we shared the story of a photographer who had his DSLR stolen and used by a lion. Wildlife photographer Dean Swartz had a similar experience recently with a different (and much larger) predator: a black bear.

Here’s what Swartz has to say about the strange encounter,

This young black bear interrupted me as I was taking photographs of a sow and her three spring cubs in Orr, Minnesota. She’d been observing me work for about forty-five minutes and, when her curiosity got the better of her, she tried her newly learned photo technique. One of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had photographing wildlife. I hope it was as thrilling for her as it was for me!


According to Swartz, it appeared that the bear was imitating what it had seen Swartz do just moments earlier. Sadly, it never did figure out how to press the shutter button, so we don’t have any photographs actually captured by the bear to show you.

(via Epic Wildlife via ISO 1200)

Thanks for sending in the tip, Phil!

Image credits: Footage and photographs by Dean Swartz

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    got to love the cheesy voice-over

  • Kevin Cummings

    I want to know if the bear actually took a picture and if it did, what did it capture!

  • Kimberly Siebert

    P. S. It was Ely Minnesota. Not Orr. ;)

  • Hitty102

    Must be a sturdy tripod to brace the weight of the bear leaning on it hehe. Awesome moments

  • Colton Onushko

    Lets face it, the only real reason he made this video was to say that ending line.

  • Jared Monkman

    it says in the article that the bear didn’t take a picture

  • Dora Summers

    What I would like to know is did the bear take any pictures and if so how did they turn out?

  • Mitch Labuda

    Probably back in the den, debating the quality of the lens and tripod with other bears.

  • Alex Szecsi

    Did he/she take a shot???!

  • Anchorsaweigh

    FYi, this black bear appears to be in the neighborhood of 175 pounds or possibly even less. It lacks the mass of a truly large black bear. OTOH, the average weight for lionesses (such as the one depicted in the other sequence) exceeds 225 pounds. People who are unfamiliar with black bears will frequently overestimate the weight because of the thick coat.

  • Sam

    I was going to answer if the bear took a picture… But, the ones that ask prolly wouldn’t read it anyway.

  • Cooper

    Sadly those of you asking if the bear took a picture can’t read as it does say “Sadly, it never did figure out how to press the shutter button, so we don’t have any photographs actually captured by the bear to show you.”

  • Over the River

    Yes Dora the bear took 36 pictures (One roll of Ilford ISO 64 Colour Slides), but they are all X-Rated and you are too young to see them.

  • Over the River

    So now you know.

  • Carl Geers

    growl.. nikon or canon…. or should i buy a third party camera and suffer the consequences of not being able to find affordable used lenses? Note to self, remember to buy a case of silica gel to keep my gear dry during the big sleep.

  • zhugan

    в рашке это нормально)

  • dorn

    This is fake. The camera was left there with some “bait” on it and then the photog took shots of the bear not surprisingly checking out a potential food source.

    The video ads insult because the bears in the video is not the same bear as in the stills.

  • David Long

    I think this answers that age, old question: Does a bear shoot in the woods?

  • bearcoat

    the scary thing about these people who fail to comprehend something so simple is that they think they are qualified to vote…

  • Jasper the bear

    lived in Jasper National Park (Canada) for 14 years, saw bears learn from us on more than one occasion. Especially when government officials in Ontario came up with “bear proof garbage cans”…