This Bear Intimidates His Own Handsome Reflection in the Woods

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 22, 2023
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People from all walks of life have been using trail cameras for years to see what kind of critters are roaming around their property. Whether you’re a hunter searching for the best spot to place a blind or you’re a new parent that’s nervous about coyotes, trail cams are a great way to keep an eye on your yard. 

Watch This Video of a Bear Reacting To Its Own Reflection!

Located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, one individual places a trail cam in the woods on their property. They point directly at a frameless mirror they’ve set up as well. Believe it or not, not all animals are capable of recognizing their reflection. 

Numerous laboratory, zoo, farm, and domestic animals’ lives have been proven to benefit from mirrors, according to studies. Sheep and cows kept apart react to stress less when there are mirrors around. When exposed to mirrors, both group and solitary monkeys exhibit a boost in social behaviors such as threats, grimaces, lip-smacking, and chattering, and solitary laboratory rabbits become more active. Some birds’ anxiety is reduced by mirrors in cages.

The person’s trail cam we’re looking at today shows what happens when a wild black bear sees his reflection. While it’s possible animals can see their reflection in bodies of water, a mirror is a flat surface that shows a solid, clear version of whatever is in front of it. Bodies of water tend to be more opaque and have some movement that distorts a reflection.

Seeing is Believing

After watching this clip, you’ll be convinced this bear is a genius. When he first steps in front of the mirror, it almost looks as if he kisses his reflection. He consistently looks behind the mirror, to see if there’s another bear there. 

With every move this apex predator makes, so does the reflection. He can’t quite get his head around it, even standing on his hind legs at one point. If a bear cannot identify what’s nearby, it may raise up on its hind legs to obtain a better look or to smell its surroundings.

The bear is definitely curious when it comes to the mirror. Unlike other animals that are placed in front of a mirror, this bear is rather calm in comparison. At one point, he even backs off and returns to the reflection, just in case it’s another bear. 

A comment on the Youtube upload makes a good point. They say, At the end of this video, he walked away KNOWING that he was looking at a reflection of himself the whole time. Bears learn stuff as fast as people do.” 

While we have no idea what this animal was thinking, we do know that it was perplexed! Take a look at the footage below. After that, we’ve included a list of other animals seeing their reflection, including a bear that has a completely different reaction.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ondrej Prosicky/

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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