boy jumping with bear at the Nashville Zoo

Patrick Parker/Facebook

This little boy had a synchronized jumping session with a very excited bear

Jumping with a bear had to be the highlight of this kid’s day.


David Britton

Internet Culture

A 5-year-old boy named Ian had a big day at the Nashville Zoo recently. Ian and his dad, Patrick Parker, say they visit the zoo often, and on this particular occasion, Ian made a new friend, an Andean bear, native to South America.

Ian approached the glass to watch the bear and got so excited he started jumping up and down. The bear must have decided that looked like fun because it got in the water and started hopping up and down along with the little boy.

Ian’s dad said the jumping session lasted around ten minutes, which seems like enough time tire out both a bear and a boy.

Obviously, people on Twitter found the video adorable.

If the bear looks a little different to you, that’s because the Andean bear is also known as the spectacled bear, since they tend to have dark black fur with lighter colored fur around their face and upper chest.

A spectacled bear at the Houston zoo. Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA)

They are the only remaining bear species in South America and are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While it’s easy to think that this bear saw young Ian as more of a potential snack than a playmate, you don’t need to worry. Although Andean bears do occasionally eat meat, in the wild 90-95% of their diet is plant-based, and since it’s probably being well fed at the zoo, it’s a fair guess that the bear hopped in the water to have some fun, not to grab lunch.

H/T ABC News

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