Monday, December 6, 2010

Black Bear Boar Foraging In An Oak Tree

Shenandoah National Park Black Bears

This blog focuses on one particular young boar and his intelligence to get at out-of-reach limbs that had an abundance of acorns. Bears have a remarkable IQ. They are the most intelligent native non-human animals in North America, and many modern bear biologists accredit them with the equivalent IQ of the great apes.

I photographed and videotaped this bear for over an hour as he fed on acorns one evening in a huge oak tree.

Bears generally use their paws to reach out and grab hold of limbs to bring the limb to them.

When this boar couldn't get to certain limbs that had large clusters of acorns, he didn't give up so easily. He used his strong teeth to chew the limbs, and checked them every so often with his paws to see if they had weakened.

It was amazing to see this behavior firsthand.

Once a limb was weak enough for him to break, he'd pull the limb towards him with his paws.

Several times a broken limb would still be just out-of-reach so he'd position himself to use his jaw to grab hold of it and bring the limb towards him.

With each victory over the limbs, the bear gorged on plentiful amounts of acorns.


A short video clip of the young boar chewing a tree limb

For more black bear photos, information and video clips, visit the Black Bears section of my Web site.