Bear Family Destroying Trail Cameras in Minnesota National Park

  • The same family of black bears in Voyageurs National Park won’t stop messing with trail cameras.
  • The Voyageurs Wolf Project said the bears have attacked their cameras five times in the past year.
  • Sometimes the bears knock them over and move on, other times they fully chew on and destroy them.

A group of vandals running wild in Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park keeps wrecking a research team’s trail cameras.

The suspects? A black bear and her three cubs — and the evidence is damning. The family has been caught on video messing with trail cameras at a remote beaver pond on five separate occasions over the past year.

“This mama bear has trained her three cubs to be weapons of mass camera destruction that will terrorize any trail camera found in the woods for years to come,” the Voyageurs Wolf Project, a research project at the University of Minnesota that studies wolves, said in a post on Facebook.

Each clip shows the family of bears, led by their mama, calmly walking towards the camera before striking it or knocking it over.

“Now, you might be tempted to think ‘They just look so cute and sweet and innocent!’ But don’t be fooled,” the post continued. “These are highly-trained deviants prowling the woods in search of technology to destroy.”

Thomas Gable, project lead at the Voyageurs Wolf Project, told Insider bears have both knocked over and actually destroyed their trail cameras.

“Most of the time, they just knock the cameras around for a bit and then move on,” he said in an email. “That said, we have had many trail cameras that bears have completely destroyed by chewing on them.”

The group has more than 200 trail cameras set up to study wolves, and Gable said bears have posed only a “minor inconvenience” to keeping them up and running. He added it can be frustrating when the cameras keep getting knocked over.

“However, we also feel that having bears knock over or destroy trail cameras just comes with the territory of doing wolf research in a wild place,” Gable said.

Plus, there are some perks, including one adorable video of a black bear cub taking out his frustration on a trail camera after failing to get his mom’s attention. Gable said it’s one of the group’s favorite trail camera videos they’ve ever recorded.

Gable said it is possible to prevent bears from messing with trail cameras by placing them in a protective metal case, but that they are a pain to set up and use, so they no longer do.

The Voyageurs Wolf Project has also had its cameras disrupted by the species they are studying. The group recently shared a 4-minute long montage of wolves attacking trail cameras, dubbing it “The Blair Wolf Project.”

“Unfortunately, many of these attack sequences were disturbingly long and the carnage so gruesome and graphic that we could only show a small portion of the footage,” the group said.

“Also, we will be seeing these wolves in small claims court.”

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