May 20, 2020
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What it looks like to be chewed on by a bear, caught on video

If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of a black bear’s mouth looks like, now’s your chance to find out.

A small black bear who wandered into Bass Harbor resident Dwayne Graham’s yard last week saw a video camera that Graham had placed there for security purposes. And after rolling around a little bit, the bear stared at the camera for a few seconds before doing what most any young bear would do:

He bit it.

The five-minute video that Graham and his wife, Nickolette Graham, watched after returning from an evening out gives almost a film noir dentist’s view of the bear’s mouth, as it had a blast gnawing playfully at the recording device.

“He just started having a feast on the camera,” 27-year-old Jamaican native Dwayne Graham said.

The Graham family had already run across some clues as to the bear’s presence. As they pulled up in their car, they saw one ripped trash bag and some trash scattered across the driveway. Another bag, much less mauled, was up against a nearby tree, Graham said.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, what happened here?’ There was no wind and deer don’t go in the trash and a coyote couldn’t do it,” said Graham, a landscaper who also runs a cleaning service with his wife.

The 8-foot-by 8-foot enclosure around his garbage cans was knocked over, as was the source of the two trash bags, his primary trash can, into which Graham placed a heavy weight to keep it from being blown around.

He found the camera just about where he had placed it. It had been knocked over and, despite having some teeth marks and a small crack in it, it still worked.

Graham was surprised that a bear, of all creatures, would be roaming Bass Harbor. As part of Mount Desert Island, it’s not someplace extremely well-known for its bear population, he said.

“Normally there are none on the island,” Graham said, “or they might be seen, but not often.”

Since posting the video on social media, it has been shared more than 660 times, and neighbors have sent him other signs of the bear’s presence ― pictures of torn up bird feeders and bent feeder polls, Graham said.

Commentators had some fun with the vid:

“Now we know the view if we got chewed on by a bear,” one said.

“He had amazingly clean teeth! Need to get the brand name for that camera that it held up so well when mangled by a bear,” said another.

“Ow, talk about up close and personal. This is the true ‘Inside Edition’! I hope they had a warranty on that camera! I spent all my summers in Maine as a kid and never once saw a bear, or a moose either.”

Despite the damage, Graham said he enjoyed the experience.

“They are a fun animal. They love to play. Before it saw the camera, It was there playing with itself. When no one is around they just have fun,” Graham said.

Not that he rules out the bear having an ulterior motive.

“Maybe,” Graham said, “he was trying to destroy the evidence.”

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