Nature is full of surprises. No matter how knowledgeable you are about the natural world, and no matter how much of it you think you’ve seen, it can always throw a curveball your way.
One thing that also gets overlooked about nature is how funny it can be. Just look at what happened to the workers at this Russian nature preserve when they suspected that something was breaking the same bench over and over. After setting up a surveillance camera, they were in for a big surprise!
The Kronotsky Nature Reserve, located in the remote Kamchatka Peninsula of Russian’s Far East, is one of the largest, most interesting places of its kind. Enormous and beautiful, there are few spots like it on Earth.
Created in 1934 and spanning 4,240 square miles, the reserve is absolutely massive. It features sights like the region’s biggest lake, Lake Kronotskoye, which alone is 246 square miles.
Not only that, but the reserve is also home to the only geyser basin in all of Russia, as well as a number of active volcanoes. Yet despite being known as the “Land of Fire and Ice,” the staff at the Kronotsky had a very different problem on their hands…
ngaire hart (lawson) / Flickr
For some time, the Kronotsky groundskeepers found that they had been repairing the same bench over and over again. As one could imagine, this task became incredibly frustrating for the workers.
Finally, they decided to set up a surveillance camera to find out who the vandal really was. After all, once they identified the perpetrator, perhaps they could apprehend him or her and move on. What they found, though, was shocking.
Wood River Wolf Project
When the team finally reviewed the tapes, they came upon the surprise of a lifetime. Instead of a mischievous man or woman, the perpetrator wound up being a large brown bear! But he wasn’t alone…
No, it wasn’t just one wild animal plaguing this otherwise pristine nature reserve. As shown in the tape, a huge moose decided to get in on the action, too!
In the footage, it appears almost as if the bear is attacking the wooden bench. Most likely, though, he was probably just trying to mark it with his scent, just like he would a tree.
It should be noted that there are more than 800 brown bears in the reserve. This makes Kronotsky home of the largest protected brown bear population in all of Eurasia, and a popular study spot for wildlife researchers.
The Siberian Times
But this isn’t the only place on the planet where bears have been caught causing trouble on camera. In fact, these guys seem to love getting into mischief!
In 2018, a California couple was distraught over a series of unexplained break-ins at their South Lake Tahoe home. In fact, their house had been broken into a total of six times in only the last couple of years.
In a neighborhood where crime is a rarity, the couple found it odd that their home was being targeted so frequently. Even stranger, the intruder never took anything of value: they only seemed to rummage through the kitchen cabinets.
Fed up with unwelcome guests, the husband and wife (below) installed a hidden security camera in their kitchen in an attempt to catch the burglar. They had no idea what they were in for…
The couple returned after running errands to find a frantic neighbor in their driveway. The frightened woman explained that she was outside in the yard when she saw a large shape slip out of their kitchen window.
Rushing inside to check the security camera footage, the couple couldn’t believe what they saw. Instead of a burglar, the intruder was an enormous brown bear!
The couple watched in amazement as the bear expertly pulled off the screen on the small window above the kitchen sink and wiggled himself inside. For such a large animal, this bear knew how to move.
Ignoring the potential treasure trove of food in the fridge not too far away, the big furball went straight for the bag of M&M’s on the counter.
Unsatisfied with the brightly colored chocolate candies, the bear is then seen returning several times for maple syrup, chocolate powder, and cinnamon-flavored raisin bread. Someone sure had a sweet tooth!
“[At some] point in the bear’s life, they gained some type of food reward by breaking in a cabin or a home,” said Lesa Johnston of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “[They] remember that, so the behavior is likely to be repeated.”
National Park Service
Despite the damage the bear caused, the couple was able to have a good laugh over finally catching the supposed burglar. Since then, they’ve made sure to bear-proof their home as much as possible and keep the sweet stuff out of reach!
Whoever thought that bears could cause so much hilarious trouble? Let’s hope no one ever leaves a bag of M&M’s on a forest bench…
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