Viral “inspirational” bear video points to drone trouble

A brown bear mother and cub struggled to make it up a snowy slope. ©Max Goldberg

A video of a brown bear (Ursus arctos) cub and its mother went viral earlier this month, with a message of perseverance as the bears climbed up a snowy slope. But experts say the video actually has a very different message involving the dangers of drones to wildlife. The video shows a bear cub climbing and falling down the mountain on the coast of Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk, but it perseveres and eventually makes it to the top. Experts who watched the video say the drone gets very close to the bears, causing a frightening situation for the bears. The video even shows the mother bear swatting at the drone, causing the cub to fall back down the steep slope. Viral videos like these point to the importance of scientists and managers to consider best practices for things like drones in order to protect wildlife, experts say.

Read more in National Geographic and check out the original video below.