NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Scientists looking at images from camera traps set to study rare Andean bears saw more than they expected, they said: images of the bears attacking the cameras.
A series of camera-trap images released by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows the bears acting like angry Hollywood celebrities pursued by paparazzi.
The photos captured adult bears and cubs repeatedly surrounding and attempting to dismantle camera traps secured to trees, a WCS release said Tuesday.
WCS scientists studying Andean bears and other wildlife in Bolivia used multiple-camera setups, allowing images from one camera to take images of the marauding bears while they attacked the other cameras.
"Andean bears are very curious animals," says Dr. Lilian Painter WCS Bolivia Country Director Lilian Painter said. "But they are also very strong, and the cameras are like big flashing toys.
"Still, we were able to record important images that will allow us to better understand their distribution, abundance and behavior, and conserve these delightful bears into the future."
Andean bears, Latin America's only bear species, are found in the mountainous regions of western Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.