Saturday, 30 August 2014

No Picnic Safe: Smart Bears Use Tools

by Becky Oskin, Live Science Senior Writer | August 28, 2014 01:58pm ET

Despite their reputation as wily "pic-a-nic basket" nappers, it's brute force — not cleverness — that gets bears into coolers and trash bins.

But a new study may upend some assumptions about bear smarts.

In the just-completed study, bear experts at Washington State University in Pullman dangled doughnuts from a string, out of reach of grizzly bears. Six out of eight bears pushed stumps or plastic boxes across their play yard and placed these objects under the tasty treats, then boosted themselves up and pawed their prize.

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