One curious bear was more than ready for its close-up, Colorado officials found after reviewing wildlife cameras set up in the forests outside Boulder.
The wildlife cameras are motion-activated, according to Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks team. Officials wrote that a local bear must have taken a “special interest” in the camera and stuck around to investigate, triggering the impromptu photoshoot.
“Of the 580 photos captured,” by the camera “about 400 were bear selfies,” park officials tweeted on Jan. 23.
“In this instance, a bear took a special interest in one of our wildlife cameras and took the opportunity to capture hundreds of ‘selfies,'” said Phillip Yates, a spokesperson for Open Space and Mountain Parks, on Thursday.
“These pictures made us laugh, and we thought others would, too,” Yates said.
In some photos, the bear looks quite glamourous. In others, a little sillier.
While parks officials didn’t specify what type of bear this budding model is, the only species of bear known to inhabit Colorado is the black bear.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife notes that “in Colorado, many black bears are blonde, cinnamon, or brown.”
Will Keeley, senior wildlife ecologist for Open Space and Mountain Parks, notes in a press release that their motion-activated cameras aren’t actually intended for bear selfies, they are to help parks officials “identify important wildlife areas.”
“The motion-detecting cameras provide us a unique opportunity to learn more about how local species use the landscape around us while minimizing our presence in sensitive habitats,” Keeley said. “The information we collect from them is used to recommend habitat-protective measures to help protect sensitive natural areas.”
The cameras, “come to life when an animal steps in front of them,” Boulder officials write. They snap a picture and can also capture video for 10 to 30 seconds. At night, the cameras use infrared light to monitor nocturnal wildlife.
“Sometimes we put cameras in locations where we think we’ll encounter enigmatic fauna like American beavers or black bears,” said Christian Nunes, a wildlife ecologist with Open Space and Mountain Parks.
“We are fortunate to live in an area with a rich diversity of wildlife species, and these cameras help us to learn what animals are really out there, and what they are up to over the course of a day, a week, or even years.”