A man from Laramie, Wyoming was out in the wilderness archery hunting when he stumbled across an old GoPro. After taking it back to his camp and charging it, he found several minutes of footage that appeared to be captured by a bear.
Dylan Schilt was out in the wilderness when he stumbled across the camera that he says had likely been there for several months. He described the situation on his Facebook.
“Last week when I was up archery hunting, I stumbled across a GoPro that was lost while snowmobiling. When I got back to camp I charged it up and couldn’t believe what I saw,” Schilt writes. “After four months of it sitting there, a big old black bear found it and not only managed to turn it on but also started recording himself playing with it.”
The more than four minutes of footage he shares shows what appears to be an American black bear playing with the GoPro by both batting it around with its paws as well as carrying it around in its mouth. The shots clearly show an abundance of snow, but none on the surrounding trees. What snow is on the ground appears quite wet as well, lending some credence to Schilt’s timeline of late spring.
The first minute and a half of footage seems to show the bear pushing the camera around with its paw and attempting to pick it up with its mouth. It finally manages to do so and eventually turns the front of the camera towards its face, resulting in a rudimentary video selfie of sorts.
There are portions of the video that show extreme close-ups of the inside of the bear’s mouth, likely the best look many will ever get of a black bear’s rather impressive teeth. Eventually, the bear clearly loes interest in the GoPro and the final few seconds of the footage show the GoPro resting peacefully, unattended.
“Hands down the craziest thing I’ve ever found!” Schilt concludes.
It is unclear if the bear at any point thinks the GoPro is food or is simply curious about a device that is unlike any other found naturally in its surroundings.
Animals and cameras have an interesting history, especially if it is the animal that captured the footage. For example, in 2011, a monkey took a photo of itself with photographer David Slater’s camera. The photographer then spent years fighting a copyright battle in court over the photos. Even though the United States Copyright Office stated in 2014 that animals can’t own copyrights and a judge ruled the same in 2016, Slater spent years fighting in court for official ownership and eventually went broke doing so.