Science News

Bizarre Bear Behavior in Northern California Linked to Brain Disease, Source Unknown

Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay

KPIX San Francisco

If you come across a bear, that bear’s first instinct should be to run away, but researchers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have come across some bears with very odd behavior. “Someone opened the trunk, and it climbed in the trunk, and that is not normal behavior. And that’s got to be a red flag, right? That’s got to be a red flag that something is not right,” said Dr. Brandon Munk.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife senior wildlife veterinarian started studying these overly friendly bears in 2014 at the investigations lab in Rancho Cordova.  Researchers at UC Davis even performed CT scans to determine what was causing the peculiar behavior.  Necropsies showed three bears in the last year had encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.