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article imageAlberta bears hit the big time, globally, after video goes viral

By Eileen Kersey     Dec 29, 2013 in Environment
Edmonton - Videos go viral for many reasons but footage of grizzly bears in Alberta became an unlikely global sensation, after Glenn Naylor, 58, an Alberta Parks officer, uploaded 'What goes on when you are not around'.
The footage is not a live action film, as such, but rather uses a series of still images gathered from cameras located in the area. According to a report by Macleans: "More than 100 such cameras that are checked every month are spread out over Alberta’s Kananaskis region for research and monitoring purposes".
The first video Naylor created gave insight into the daily activities of a black bear. A longer film followed featuring a group of bears and a "rubbing tree".
A group of grizzlies were undoubtedly the stars of that clip as they frolicked in the foliage, reveled in rubbing their backs on the bark and contorted themselves into a variety of positions as they left their scent on the tree.
“It just gives a glimpse into one of the things that they do and how they use these rub trees to communicate,” Naylor said of the video. “What I’m hoping it will do is prompt more investigation into bears and how bears behave. And hopefully even more so about how to interact with bears safely, how can I go hiking safely, how can I live in bear country safely.”
The video was posted online as a matter of logistics. Naylor wanted to share the film with a wildlife program but discovered the file was too big to email. The only way around the problem was to upload to youtube for others to access.
The rest as they say is history.
What started as a simple project for Glenn Naylor snowballed. In his spare time Naylor worked on the footage. The video was uploaded to YouTube in July but is attracting a great deal of attention now. With more than 2.5 million hits it is proving popular.
Alberta’s grizzlies are drawing international attention to the province’s wildlife and conservation efforts, in what has turned out to be a win-win situation.
Media interest in the grizzlies continues to escalate and producers working on a show for the BBC are planning to visit in January. The clip has already been aired on television on shows including “The Colbert Report” in the USA. The show's host Stephen Colbert nicknamed the bears "stripper bears" as they danced and frolicked when no person was around.
The BBC were apparently looking elsewhere but the youtube footage persuaded them that Alberta Parks could be the right location for the new show.
Unwittingly the footage became an internet sensation and the hits now stand at 2.5 million plus.
Naylor was worried though when the video quickly became popular as the images were government property but posted on his personal account. The parks quickly resolved the situation by re-posting on the Alberta Parks official youtube account.
Whether Mr Naylor now has the youtube bug or has just seen the obvious benefits of uploading online is not clear. However he does plan a further project called “Rabbit with a death wish” if he ever gets the time!
More about Alberta, Bears, Viral video, Canada, alberta parks
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