Brown bears can’t climb? Watch this, says Poupouce
They say that brown bears can’t climb – but rescued Poupouce was determined to set the record straight.
A noticeable difference between Tibetan brown bears and moon bears, is their love of climbing. While moon bears delight in scaling trees and throwing down tasty branches to their friends waiting below – brown bears prefer to feel the earth between their paws.
Their long claws are adapted for digging vast nests in the ground and their larger frame means many trees won’t take their weight.
But these images of brown bear Poupouce at Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre prove that if a brown bear has the motivation – in this case something tasty to eat – they’ll happily climb a tree to get it.
After a volunteer left a piece of cabbage high up in a tree, experienced bear manager Xueliang Shiconfidently told her the vegetable would go uneaten as adult brown bears don’t climb.
That was a pretty safe statement to make – but today Poupouce felt like springing a surprise.
Rocky was left happily speechless as Poupouce began shimmying up the tree just like nearby moon bears Holly and Wang Cai are so fond of doing.
Bear Manager Xueliang Shi said:
“I couldn’t believe it. From our experience brown bears don’t climb, but Poupouce has proved us all wrong. We’re used to seeing moon bears climb as many of them love to play up in the trees, but it’s never happened before with a brown bear. I guess she really felt like cabbage that day.”
Animals Asia’s China Bear and Vet Team Director Nic Field said:
“In ten years of caring for rescued bears, including Tibetan browns Poupouce, Benji and Eurasian browns Caesar and Iris, I’ve never seen any of them climb.
“It just goes to show what amazing animals they are, capable of so much more than we give them credit for. The hundreds of bears we have rescued – mostly from the bear bile trade – are always surprising us. They are truly inspirational, and their ability to adapt to their new environments is incredible.”
Poupouce and her brother Benji were discovered in July 2005, living in a bear pit in a monastery in Litang, Sichuan province on the border with Tibet.
The siblings were being cared for by a group of Tibetan monks whose conscience compelled them to save the animals from being taken to a nearby bile farm.
However when the pair got bigger they realised these two beautiful brownies needed a better home and Animals Asia were delighted to help.
While Poupouce is correcting common misconceptions in bear behaviour, her brother Benji is also a bear. He achieved online fame when video of him joyfully playing at Animals Asia’s sanctuary was seen around the world.