A blue-headed bear spotted in British Columbia is confounding wildlife experts this week.
Photographer Aaron Smith captured video and images of the mysterious animal in Mission, B.C. last Tuesday, when he spotted it during his commute. At first, he didn’t even notice the mother bear’s strange colouring — but then he looked at it through his camera. “It was only after I pulled over and pulled out my zoom lens I saw that something was wrong with the bear’s head,” Smith told CTV. ““It was pretty crazy. It’s a very blue head.”
In the video, the bear can be seen foraging in the grass with its cub. The colour of its head is not fully apparent until it turns and the light hits it at a new angle, revealing a distinct blue tint.
While there are several theories behind the bear’s strange colouring, a definitive answer has yet to be found. Chris Jones of Mission Animal Control told CTV Vancouver that it appeared to him that the bear had dipped its head in something. Because the line of color on the bear’s neck is solid, he doesn’t believe that it was sprayed on, which means that this was not done intentionally by humans.
Though the bear may look mystical, “the bear appears to be healthy and fine, “conservation officer Paul McFadden told the CBC. It’s foraging and with a cub.”
Nevertheless, the blue-faced bear has captured the imaginations of locals and international video viewers alike.