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Adorable Black Bear Caught Playing “Peek-a-boo” on New Mexico Trail Cam 

When New Mexico foresters checked their trail cameras last week, they didn’t find the wolves they’d been tracking. Instead, they discovered a playful black bear hogging the spotlight.

The cameras had been placed throughout New Mexico’s Gila National Forest as part of a monitoring project for the local Mexican gray wolf population, which has been thriving in the region in recent years. But because the cameras are triggered by any kind of motion, they often capture other wildlife in addition to wolves. In this case, a curious black bear triggered a cam when it lay directly in front of one of the lenses. The resulting “selfies” show the bear covering its face with its paws, then staring into the camera with arms spread wide. Delighted viewers likened it to a game of “peek-a-boo.”

In a recent Tweet, which was posted on March 8, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) described the images as an “impromptu photo session.” The photos have captured the hearts of Twitter users everywhere and have since been viewed more than 41,000 times. 

This isn’t the first time a black bear has discovered a trail cam and used it for a personal photo shoot. Earlier this year, a black bear near Boulder, Colorado, discovered a camera and used it to take more than 400 selfies. Black bears are naturally curious, and while the cameras are designed to be unobtrusive to wildlife, plenty of animals spend time checking them out anyway.

The Gila National Forest wolf-monitoring project will continue throughout the spring and should be able to provide valuable information on the status of local wolf populations. And, with any luck, it will also provide us with some more adorable photos.

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