Photographer Jim Lawrence was at the right place and right time when he managed to capture this image of a grizzly bear inspecting his camera. Lawrence was taking pictures of the bear as it fished for Kokanee salmon in a British Columbia river, but soon had to dive into some bushes after the bear started approaching his position. Even from his precarious hiding spot, Lawrence managed to snap a few quick photos of the grizzly doing what bears do best: follow their curiosity.

Lawrence told the Toronto Star that the bear stood up on its hind legs and began to inspect his camera.

“For the longest time, he studied the screen and the buttons, then, with a huge long-nailed paw, gently tugged on the strap. The weight of the long lens caused the camera to pivot quickly upward, startling the big fellow,” he told the Star.

The bear, satisfied that the camera was neither a threat nor food, then returned to fishing. The photograph of the large animal peering into the camera, trying to make meaning out of the strange device, apparently resonated with viewers. The image quickly went viral after being posted to Facebook, and began making the rounds on outdoor websites, wildlife watching blogs, and news publications. Lawrence attributed the success of the photo to what he called the bear’s “human look.”

It turns out the bear was not a bad fisherman either. Lawrence stayed to take more pictures of the bear fishing and wrote on Facebook that the grizzly was quite skillful.

“Standing in the deep water he has developed a technique of finding fish with his back paws and passing them up to his front paws without getting his head wet,” Lawrence wrote. “As agile and limber as Harry Houdini.”

Image from Facebook

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