This article appeared in the January 27, 2023 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 01/27 edition

Ursine influencer: Colorado bear is ready for its close-up

City of Boulder
From the City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks Facebook page: "Recently, a bear discovered a wildlife camera that we use to monitor wildlife across #Boulder open space. Of the 580 photos captured, about 400 were bear selfies."
Peter Grier
Washington editor

“This shot looks too hot. This one looks too cold. Ah but this one – the angle and the light are juuuuuust right.”

No, this is not a line from the fairy tale reboot “Goldilocks and the Three Bears of Instagram.” It’s real life. A bear in Colorado has gone viral by taking hundreds of selfies on a trail camera set up by Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) program.

In the pictures the bear appears to experiment with different poses and expressions. You can hear it saying to itself, “Does my fur seem too shiny in this one?”

Four hundred of the 580 photos captured recently on one camera were of this single ursine influencer. The Boulder OSMP has nine of the motion-detecting devices on its 46,000-acre land system.

The cameras “provide us a unique opportunity to learn more about how local species use the landscape around us while minimizing our presence in sensitive habitats,” said Will Keeley, senior wildlife ecologist for OSMP, on its website.

Who knew the local species were using the landscape to create content as well as provide food?

Typically, wild animals ignore trail cameras or scurry away. At night their images can be ghostly and hard to identify. “Help Identify This Trail Cam Mystery Beast” is a popular recurring story in Maine’s Bangor Daily News.

This bear may simply have been intrigued by a mysterious object. Could it really have a sense of fun?

We’ll know for sure if it discovers TikTok.

This article appeared in the January 27, 2023 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 01/27 edition
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