There are many words that one might use to describe a bear: big, scary, jungle book, ferocious even, and for obvious reasons, too. Bears are generally known to be dangerous creatures, especially immediately after coming out of hibernation, or when protecting their offspring.
They are big, strong animals and have been known to maul and attack people, sometimes for no clear reason. Owing to all this, very few people will describe a typical bear as friendly. However, every now and then, these creatures have been known to defy the generalizations about them.
The most recent instance happened to a woman who was paying a visit to the Olympic game farm, located in Washington.
The woman was riding in a car and the sight of a big grizzly behind a wire fence caused her to stop. While recording, she proceeded to wave to the grumpy-looking animal sitting alone and idle in the enclosure. What happened next was shocking, and truly intriguing.
The bear returned the wave with one of its own!
In an astonishing show of enthusiasm, the bear half lifted itself on its hind legs and fluttered its forepaws at the surprised woman. It was almost as though it was a welcome gesture the bear often extended to visitors.
While many of us see them as hulking beasts, experts will tell us that bears are actually social creatures. They are great at observing their surroundings, even though they can be moody, and dangerous as well.
Owing to their power of observation, they may, with sufficient exposure to humans, mimic some human behavior. The bear may just have seen a lot of waves from Olympic farm visitors and deduced that returning similar gesture was appropriate.
Experts also warn that those actions should not be seen as a friendly gesture. As much as we would like to have a Baloo experience, bears are ferocious creatures and should be treated with caution.