I understand on a rational level that bears are man-eating carnivores, equipped with razor sharp fangs and claws for flesh tearing and disemboweling. They’re wild animals, unfit for interacting with people in the modern world. They’re too big, too homicidal, and their tiny brains prohibit human activities like filling out excel spreadsheets or playing monopoly. This all makes sense to me, sure. But sometimes bears do act like people, and that awakens in me a powerful affection for them.
Kung Fu Bear
This bear looks like he’s been trained in karate, but he actually was not. Bears aren’t allowed in karate school.
This bear seems to be greeting motorists with a friendly wave. More likely, he is swatting in their general direction, too lazy to bash through the fence and claw off their faces.
This bear has undergone a brutal training regimen to master a wide variety of tricks, including dancing while playing a trumpet, sitting in a comically small chair, and hula hooping. Undoubtedly, there is some sort of abuse going on here. Still adorable, though.
Dog Hugging Bears
These bears are hugging some dogs in the same way people do if they like dogs. Is there a shade of lasciviousness to the affection, the way the bear appears to try and mount the dog? Possibly. But I’d rather interpret it as a hug than a sexually assault.
This bear is opening car doors and going inside like a big fluffy carjacker. Bears, however, don’t need cars, and even if they did, they can’t operate the wheel and pedals as they lack refined motor control. He probably thinks it’s a weird metal cave with a chewable interior.
Hockey Playing Bears
These bears are playing hockey in Russia for real, no CGI or costumes involved. First observation: bears are not nearly as good as people at hockey; their skating abilities, while impressive for bears, lack the maneuverability of, say, your average NHL player. And the way the “goalies” watch with gloomy confusion as the puck goes past seems particularly poignant. It’s hard to reconcile the cruelty of this video with its cuteness.
This bear is opening presents as if he is a little human boy having a birthday, but he is not; he is a large adult bear having a birthday. Question: is he cognitively equipped to understand it’s his birthday or conceptualize a “birthday party” or attribute the gifts to his owner/friend? I don’t know. I can’t help but anthropomorphize him.
This bear, the same one from the previous video, is having thanksgiving dinner with his human family. Immediately it’s clear that bears are poor dining companions from the way he selfishly laps up all the mashed potatoes and fruit salad, leaving none for anyone else. Bears eat 20,000 calories per day, which means a bear thanksgiving would require at least a few dozen turkeys.
Bicycle Racing Bear
This bear is engaged in a bicycle race against a monkey in China. In the wild, bears don’t ride bicycles, but this one seems to do fairly well right up until he crashes, and that’s when it all goes wrong. Long story short, the monkey loses the race.