Grizzly Bear Outsmarts Electric Trap After 14 Hour Effort

Astonishing footage has revealed just how tenacious a hungry grizzly bear can be, as one of the animals was filmed spending 14 hours examining an electric trap in order to defeat it and retrieve a deer carcass.

Heather Reich, a 39-year-old Wildlife biologist, and her husband, Derek, 55, a photographer, have spent a decade studying grizzly bears in Montana, according to the Daily Mail. In an effort to protect the bears from harm, the couple employ a technique known as aversive conditioning, attempting to teach the animals to avoid human-developed areas.

In an experiment filmed in 2007, the pair wired a deer carcass to an electric fence charger designed to shock and deter bears. Filming the carcass with a remotely activated motion-sensing camera, they recorded a grizzly approaching the deer, and receiving a shock when it bit into the dead animal. Rather than give up and move on, however, the industrious bear spent 14 hours examining the trap, determining a way to beat it.

“This footage shows us how tenacious bears can be,” Heather observed. “You would think after being shocked a bear would just leave the area not that it would spend 14 hours working out how to disarm the set up. He spent a lot of time just staring at the deer trying to figure out how to get it without getting shocked.”

The bear could hear the charger operating, Heather observed, and though the grizzly didn’t understand exactly what was happening, it was able to determine that if something changed, the element of shock might go away. In the end, the bear was able to disconnect the car battery powering the rig, and seconds later, had made off with the dead deer, as Barcroft TV reports.

“It wasn’t until we looked at the video that we saw how the bear had outsmarted the trap,” Heather recalled.


Last year, bear photos of a different variety began to pose a problem for wildlife officials in Lake Tahoe. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Forest Service officials were concerned when visitors began rushing toward bears in order to take selfies with the animals.

Derek observed that the footage is unique, in that it documents the grizzly’s actions without the presence of human beings, revealing the bear’s genuine behavior.

“Human presence always alters animal behavior, no matter what photographers may think,” he asserted.

The couple work with bear conservation group Vital Ground in an effort to document and save struggling populations of grizzlies and other bears.

[Image: Derek Reich/ Barcroft USA via the Daily Mail]