A rescued bear in Laos has been filmed walking upright like a human being, and while at first glance it may appear to be a person dressed in a costume, the animal’s caretakers assert that it is genuinely moving around its enclosure in such an eerie fashion.
The unusual animal is an Asiatic black bear, according to Grind TV, and was filmed by wildlife biologist Eliza Jinata. Author of the Holiztic Vet blog, Jinata works at the Laos Wildlife Rescue Center, and claims that people are often stunned to see the bear walking around bipedally, as if it were a human being.
“The bear is walking on his hind legs, just like how human walks,” she noted. “Everyone finds this very amusing, even me! I laughed when I first saw him walking like that and still smile whenever I see him walk like that in his big open enclosure.”
Though footage of the bear has captivated viewers online, the rescued animal’s past, which was unfortunately not kind, may be responsible for its unusual method of motion. As the Daily Mail points out, Jinata’s theories about why the animal walks on its hind legs center on the way the bear has been treated.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) May 7, 2015
“Before his current place was turned into a rescue center, it functioned as a zoo where visitors could feed him and other bears by throwing food from outside the fence. With his smaller and malnourished body, it is easier for him to stand on his hind leg because his spine can support his light body weight. Standing up and waiting for food slowly became a habit, which he does on a daily basis now.”
Before the bear lived at the zoo-turned-rescue-center, the animal was rescued from a bear bile farm, where it was kept in small cages and fed just enough to keep it alive. More than 10,000 bears are kept on bile farms in China, along with a further 2,000 in Vietnam, where the bodily fluid is extracted from them. Bear bile contains ursodeoxycholic acid, an active therapeutic substance which is a common ingredient in Chinese holistic medicine.
— Dorkly (@dorkly) May 7, 2015
Last year, another black bear was filmed walking upright through a New Jersey neighborhood, and as the Inquisitr previously reported, wildlife officials asserted that the footage was not a hoax. Asiatic black bears, like the one filmed in Laos, are considered to be the most bipedal species of bear, capable of walking over a half mile on their hind legs.
While the animal in the video is much smaller than a normal member of its species, likely a result of malnourishment, its smaller size makes it easier for the bear to walk upright like a human.
[Image: YouTube/ Eliza Jinata via the Daily Mail]