If bears could dance, the results would probably look just like the images Colin Chase captured on his trail camera.
The 49-year-old fiber optic coordinator from Cumberland County was pleased to capture on video what he suspects was a large, female black bear rubbing her back against a small thin tree trunk on a mountainside near Upton last month.
The bear, which Chase estimated to be about 300 pounds, looked like she was really getting into the boogieing and shimmying against the wood, which one of her cubs then climbed, chewed and pawed at before he and a sibling caught up to his mother as she sauntered away.
The 1½ minute video captures one of the enjoyable things about placing a camera in the deep woods, Chase said – animals being themselves.
“I love wildlife, and it is kind of like having a gym membership,” Chase said Wednesday. “It gives me an excuse to get out in the woods. You never know what you’re going to get with one of these cameras. It’s like Christmas.”
Bears typically rub themselves on trees to help them rid themselves of their winter coats and to leave their scent as a sign of the territory they have set for themselves for other bears, The scent helps them find mates during mating season, according to bear-tracker.com.
Chase, who lives in Gray, is a semi-professional photographer. He said he has eight trail cams set up around Maine to capture images of wildlife, just for fun. He also likes to record lynx, fisher cats and moose. This particular recording came after the bear had pawed the camera tripod several times, knocking the camera astray but fortunately not doing any damage. He added a security box to the tripod to keep the camera from being damaged, he said.
“I think it is because all the trees there are marking trees,” Chase said of the bear’s motivation. “It’s like ‘Hey, what’s new here? Why is this in my neighborhood?’
His page at youtube.com has 37 videos of a variety of animals, and Chase said he will probably keep on adding to the collection.