On Monday, a B.C. man captured what looks like a scene from the real-life Jungle Book.
Anmore resident Jim Korchinski was finishing his morning coffee when he saw a black bear emerge from the nearby forest and “scamper up the back garden.”
Living outside the city of Vancouver, Korchinski is used to seeing wildlife, even bears, cross through his backyard, but he’s never seen anything like this.
Just before the bear made it over to a tree that his kids planted in the backyard, Korchinski pulled out his camera. He recorded the bear leaning against the evergreen, then recklessly moving up and down, even going as far as to pull the top branch down.
“It was a very well-practiced technique that’s for sure,” Korchinski told CBC News.
“I just thought the neat part was where he reached behind with his paw and grabbed the top of the branch and kind of pulled it over…there was another spot that needed attention,” he said.
But even though it looks like the bear is going to extra lengths to scratch an itch, according to experts, that might not be what he’s doing at all.
Over the years, there have been many theories as to why bears rub against trees: some thought females would do it as they came into estrus, while others believed bears were giving their backs a good scratch to get rid of parasites or pick up sap that would act as insect repellent.
But after spending nearly a decade studying this behaviour, ecologist Dr. Owen Nevin determined that bears rub against trees to mark their turf—at least when it comes to adult males. He believes that they’re leaving their scent behind as a way of communicating with other males that they’re looking for breeding females.
Whatever the bear is doing, it sure is entertaining. And Korchinski is just happy it went for something other than his hot tub cover.
“We’re hopeful that he’s finally found something that makes him happy, so that he can stop chewing our hot tub cover to pieces!” he posted in the description alongside his Youtube video.