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Video shows family of bears tearing unattended campsite to shreds

Three black bears tear apart a campsite
(Image credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service)

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (UFWS) has shared a video showing just how quickly brown bears can destroy a campsite. The video, which was created in collaboration with Oakland Zoo, was made to demonstrate just how much damage bears can cause when attracted in search of food.

The clip, which was shared on Twitter (opens in new tab), shows three bears ransacking a tent and camping gear, using their claws to tear into a cooler, flattening equipment, and reaching up to grab marshmallows from sticks.

The family of three bears were originally wild, but were taken into captivity after an encounter with humans – something that often results in animals being euthanized.

In 2017, the bears entered a person's home hunting for food and the mother (named Cambria) injured the homeowner. Cambria was deemed a public safety threat, but Oakland Zoo stepped in to save the family and give them a permanent home.

Bear encounters are on the rise as the animals become less fazed by human contact and develop a habit of seeking food in populated areas.

"A habituated bear loses its natural fear of people, usually as a result of access to improperly stored human food and garbage," a spokesperson for the UFWS explained. "These bears can become increasingly bold, causing property damage and potential harm to people."

To avoid trouble at camp, the UFWS advises you to hike in groups, be mindful where you set up camp, keep your camp clean, and always store food in a bear-resistant place. It's always best to keep your distance from wildlife, but our guide on what to do if you meet a bear provides tips to keep you safe in the event of a close encounter.

Cat Ellis
Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).