Utah is home to thousands of black bears that roam the mountains. If you encounter one in the wild, I wouldn’t recommend hanging around. They are a wild animals after all.

However, if you are not in immediate danger or have some sort of camera taking footage, you may want to hang around and see if they dance. 

You didn’t know bears dance? Check out this footage from a home camera in Florida. 

These bears at one point seem to follow in each other’s steps. It doesn’t have the grace of a ballroom dancer or even the awkward shuffle of a 7th grader trying out his moves with a young lady a foot taller than him, but it does have the feeling of a dance. 

It isn’t always two bears, sometimes you will see one bear capering through a meadow like he hears a far-off tune that got his feet tapping. He rotates around, carefully placing his steps in a pattern. People have even witnessed multiple bears perform the same sequence of steps as they move along the trail. 

Photo by Petr Ganaj: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-shot-of-a-bear-12167831/
Photo by Petr Ganaj: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-shot-of-a-bear-12167831/

What are these bears doing? Is it left over from the days when circuses would train bears to ride tricycles and walk around on their hind legs wearing clown outfits? Or maybe they have a beat in their heart that just needs to get out like the rest of us. 

Scientific American says it has to do with the scent left in the footprints. The bears then step in the same place as they move along. I don’t know if that is true. I am willing to believe it has something to do with some primal nose stuff, but even in the article, they admit it is still a mystery. 

I propose an experiment where scientists give each bear a dance card. Then drive them to a nice meadow with music playing. I’m sure something with a good beat will get those harry dudes moving. Even if it doesn’t prove anything, that video is going viral. 

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Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell

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