Yes, the viral video of a bear 'chasing' a hiker up a tree is almost certainly staged
The camera operator seems awfully calm for someone whose friend is in mortal danger
A video is currently circulating on social media, which allegedly shows a bear chasing a hiker up a tree while he scrabbles to escape. However, the encounter was almost certainly staged with a trained bear.
The main giveaway is the steady hand of the camera operator filming the whole encounter, who keeps the tree being climbed perfectly framed, and can be heard chuckling and coughing. Some viewers have also noted that the bear (which is very gentle with the climber) may be wearing a collar.
Despite this, many people appear to have taken the video at face value, and it has been widely shared as genuine.
Terrifying encounter between hiker and bear 😳 pic.twitter.com/tnXcGxTeX2February 24, 2023
There's certainly none of the panic seen when a Japanese climber came face to face with a black bear (opens in new tab) on a mountain last year. The man was making his way down Mt Futago, a dormant volcano in Japan's Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, when he was suddenly attacked.
He managed to fend the animal off with blows to the face, then climbed back to the summit to find an alternative way down.
The climber shared a video of the encounter captured by his GoPro camera. He explained that he had accidentally invaded the bear's territory, and it was only behaving naturally when faced with a potential threat.
- What to do if you meet a bear: a guide to wildlife safety
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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).