A heartfelt video of a bear cub trying to climb a snow-covered mountain in order to reach to his mother has been doing rounds on social media, garlanding enough warmth and sympathy from the viewers. Many users shared the video as an example of the age-old proverb – “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”
The video, shot on the coast of Russia, shows a brown bear mother and cub attempting to climb a hill. The persistent cub slips and falls repeatedly – and at one point even slips to the very end of the slope – but manages to climb up to its mother by the end of the video, where both mother and cub run off into the wilderness.
While at first, the video, which got retweeted 187,000 times and got 532,000 shares at the time of publishing, was being hailed as a lesson in perseverance but new information has come to light revealing a darker truth.
Several wildlife and conservation experts pointed out that in the video, the mother and cub were, in fact, terrified of the drone that was filming them. A video posted by Al Jazeera explains the problem.
The ugly truth behind the viral video of a baby bear struggling to reach his mum on a clifftop. pic.twitter.com/KCcxETR19O
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) November 8, 2018
It can be noted that the baby bear, which took several falls, could have reached the top and with much more ease, had it not been for the drone. The moment the drone zoomed in very close to the cub, its mother alerted by the approaching drone attempted to swat at its cub. The commotion caused the cub to fall down again which had almost reached the top.
Though the video ended happily with both bear and cub walking away after the successful climb, the video has called out conflicting conversations about the use of drones for filming wildlife.
According to National Geographic, wildlife ecologist Sophie Gilbert said the mother bear responded with fear and needed to protect the baby bear as a drone is an identified flying object to bears.
Dmitry Kedrov, the person who operated the drone, claims that the zoom affect was only used post-production and he made sure not to let the drone get too close to the bear.