Thunder Bay

High-climbing bear caught on video in northern Ontario

Video of a high-climbing bear captured in northwestern Ontario is delighting viewers online.

Footage showing animal perched on the highest branches of a tree is delighting viewers online

'Bear acrobat at work' reads the photo caption for this picture posted online by the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association in northwestern Ontario. An accompanying video of the animal had racked up over 180,000 views on Thursday. (Susan McLeod)

Video of a high-climbing bear captured in northwestern Ontario is delighting viewers online.

The footage, captured by boaters on Lake of the Woods, shows the animal perched on the highest branches of a tree.

"They saw what they thought was a big bird or something at first," said Diane Schwartz-Williams, executive director of the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association, which posted the video on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

On second glance, the boaters realized it was a bear "balanced precariously ... on very small branches," she said.

The bear appears to be eating buds on tree, she added. 

"And he's moving about. At one point it almost looks like he's straddling two branches; he's standing quite upright."

"It's just incredible to see. Almost beyond belief." 

Schwartz-Williams said the video was sent to her by the former executive director of the association, who spied the bear while out fishing on Sunday morning. 

The association posted it with a lighthearted caption including the words, "My that's a strange bird ... OMG it's a bear!!!"

As of Thursday, the video had racked up more than 180,000 views, "which just boggles my mind," she said.

"I keep looking at the numbers. It's quite amazing in terms of how many people are looking at it."

Tarzan of the bear world

Although animal sightings are no rarity for people in northwestern Ontario, Schwartz-Williams said she's never seen anything quite like this.

"And judging by the comments on our Facebook page, no one else has either," she added. 

"People said, 'well, we've seen bears up high but not that high.'"

"Someone referred to it as the bear 'Tarzaning around the tree,'" she added, "so quite unique."

Schwartz-Williams said as surprised as she is by the online reaction to the video, she's glad that people are having fun with it. 

"It's really neat to see. And I think maybe with everyone else going on around us this is so different, so far removed, people are just getting right into it from all over the world." 

She added that she's also happy for any attention it draws to the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental sustainability and protecting the watershed. 



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