They love their larvae, snore like troopers when they sleepon their sides and, for reasons unknown, get a kick out of pushing over the trunksof dead trees.Those are just a few of the insights into the daily life of Europe's dwindling band ofbrown bears obtained as a result of an innovative film project being shown as partof a hit exhibition at the Natural History museum in Toulouse, in southwesternFrance.The museum teamed up with authorities in Slovenia and the wildlife filmmakerMichel Tonelli to capture an intimate record of the daily activities of a female bearliving in the Slovenian highlands thanks to a camera attached to a GPS-enabledcollar she was fitted with.The experiment, which has never been done before with European brown bears, didnot produce any startling new revelations about their lives, but it did offer aglimpse into the world seen from the point of view of an animal that
conservationists struggle to observe acting naturally."This enabled us to get inside the bear's black box, their own universe," said HenriCap, a zoologist at the museum."For example, when the bear goes past a cabin where she has obviously had a badexperience in the past, she turns on her heels and gets out of there immediately."It is disturbing to watch, the fear of humans, but it also shows a capacity forrational thought. That might surprise some but everyone who works with bearsknows they are extremely intelligent animals."The bear, named Tolosa after the Roman name for Toulouse, was filmed shaking arowan tree to release the berries and displaying an extraordinarily delicate touch asshe gathers tiny larvae to eat.Tolosa, who was estimated to be about five years old, also displays a penchant forknocking over dead trees: for fun or to provide insects with an ideal environment toproduce more of the yummy larvae? Scientists just don't know.The images are available on the Internetat:http://www.museum.toulouse.fr/-/dans-les-yeux-de-l-ourse-via-une-camera-embarquee?redirect=/explorer.They form part of a major exhibition on bears which organisers are hoping to taketo Paris and Barcelona once the Toulouse run is finished in June.