‘Goofball’ bear cub uses beaver lodge for diving practice, Massachusetts video shows

One animal’s home is another animal’s playground, trail camera video from Massachusetts shows – especially when that other animal is a curious black bear cub.

Janet Pesaturo captured the video with a camera strategically affixed to a tree in an undisclosed location in the central Massachusetts wilderness, she told McClatchy News in a phone interview.

She’s been “camera trapping” for years. Long enough to know that beaver lodges and dams tend to attract all kinds of other woodland creatures, big and small, predator and prey, she said.

But even Pesaturo was excited when she visited her trail camera in December and saw what it had captured during the fall: a young “goofball cub” using the beaver lodge as a “diving platform.”

“Bears are very curious about beaver lodges,” Pesaturo said. “Occasionally they tear into them and try to get at the beavers, but most of the time they just sniff around.”

But this is the first time she’s seen a bear use a lodge like a diving board, she said.

She’s self-taught when it comes to camera trapping but has learned a lot over the years, and even wrote a book on the subject, titled Camera Trapping Guide: Tracks, Sign, and Behavior of Eastern Wildlife. But here’s a free tip: Point the camera at a beaver’s home; they’re “biodiversity hotspots.”

Pesaturo has been monitoring this particular beaver lodge by the pond’s edge for several years. It was abandoned when she first came across it, the roof collapsed, the previous tenants nowhere to be seen.

While the lodge had sat empty for some time, a family of beavers moved in during the fall and started renovating it, adding sticks and mud as needed, making it their own.

“There were definitely beavers inside because I have many videos of them building the lodge at night,” Pesaturo said.

Luckily for them, the cub and its mother – which appears from the right side around the six-second mark – weren’t hungry for beaver that day.

Still, a pair of bears stomping around on the roof must be a stressful experience.

“It probably is unsettling for them to perceive any large animal right at their lodge,” Pesaturo said.

As for the bears, they’ve likely found themselves a den of their own by now to sleep through the cold months ahead.

“The October fun at the beaver lodge was the last hurrah for them [before the winter],” she said.

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