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That Viral Video Of A Baby Bear Climbing A Mountain May Be Cute—But Experts Say Not So Fast

Wildlife experts are suggesting instead of seeking out footage of wildlife for your viral video, please just leave the animals alone.

A recent video out of Russia of a mother bear and her cub climbing the side of a snowy mountain has gone viral on social media for all the wrong reasons. In the clip, shot with a drone, the young cub struggles to make it up the mountain, continuing to slide in the snow. Eventually, after a few scary attempts, the cub makes it to the top and runs off with his mother.

People reposted the video using the cub’s struggle as human inspiration to never give up, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

Unfortunately, the person capturing the footage is most likely the one causing the distress. American ecologist Jacquelyn Gill said in a Twitter post:

“Harassing wildlife for a photograph, a selfie, or a video is never okay. Respect animals by giving them space, and don’t share posts where animals are clearly in distress or in danger just because someone wants to go viral.”

Sophie Gilbert, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Idaho weighed in on the video telling The Atlantic:

“I found it really hard to watch. It showed a pretty stark lack of understanding from the drone operator of the effects that his actions were having on the bears.

It’s staggering—all the misuses that people are proudly posting because they don’t know any better. There’s no education right now. Nobody’s even trying to talk to folks about it.”

People weighed in agreeing that a viral video is not worth the damage caused. 

This obsession with “going viral” at any cost has to stop. 

We really need to make this clear. 

Just don’t do it.


H/T: The Atlantic, IFL Science


Written by Jonna Ivin

Jonna Ivin is the founder of STIR Journal and writer of the essay, I Know Why Poor Whites Chant, Trump, Trump, Trump. She has appeared on NPR, OPB, The Roland Martin Show and KCRW. Jonna is the author of the books Will Love For Crumbs, 8th Amendment, and, Sister Girl. Her writing has been featured in Good Magazine, STIR Journal, The Establishment, and xoJane. Twitter @jonnaivin