A Farting Bear Caught on Camera Is What We All Needed to See | True 802 | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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A Farting Bear Caught on Camera Is What We All Needed to See


Published July 10, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

Does a bear fart in the woods? You betcha. And in this case, there's video evidence.

Bob Etzweiler, a senior program director at the Vermont Wilderness School in Brattleboro, captured a gassy bruin on a trail camera he'd set up in the woods near Marlboro. Though the footage is from April, Etzweiler didn't discover it until June. He shared it with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, and a staffer uploaded the clip to social media.

Etzweiler, who has recorded wildlife on trail cams for about 15 years, was tracking animals in the woods in April when he found a bear trail that led to what he figured was the animal's sleeping quarters. He set up a trail camera nearby. Months later, when he looked at the trail cam's thumbnail of a black bear on its back, he knew immediately that he had captured something special. The images included hours of the bear rolling around and relaxing. The bear was enjoying some alone time in its post-hibernation bed when it released the fart heard 'round Vermont.

After breaking wind, it promptly fell asleep, the video shows.

While this bear was in the wild, Fish & Wildlife has been tracking an increasing number of human encounters with the animals. The department says bears are becoming active earlier in the year and Vermonters need to try to prevent encounters by securing garbage and compost and bringing in bird feeders in the spring.

"I live near some cornfields and some orchards ... and they're always coming to those for the sweetness of the apples and the corn," Etzweiler said. "It's really common to encounter bears in southern Vermont, typically in later fall, when their movements are generally focused on coming to those sweeter, high-calorie food sources."

Now, thanks to Etzweiler, we know what happens after a bear chows down.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Gas Powered"

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