Bears in a Zoo in the Netherlands get playful with a ballon
Bears are playful creatures, but three ursoids at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park near Tilburg in the Netherlands were baffled by the presence of a cheeky pink balloon that floated into their enclosure.
A visitor at the Zoo filmed the duo playing with the balloon and shared the video on Facebook, and in less than a week it has been viewed more than 30 million times.
The three are sloth bears, a species indigenous to India, and unlike its American cousins, these bears are strictly insectivorous.
Playing ball with a balloon
The curious bears watched in amazement as the pink balloon hovered, then sniffed at it suspiciously.
Then one of the bears swatted at it with its paws and was startled as it skipped away. Rising on its hind legs the bear lumbered in pursuit of the pink balloon.
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Pop goes the balloon.
The three started playing with the balloon, swatting it to make it bounce, until the fragile balloon finally yielded under the giants' huge claws and popped, much to the trio's disappointment.
Playful, curious and intelligent
Bear cubs are extremely playful, just like human children, and bear mothers have a tough time keeping them in line.
Bears are extraordinarily intelligent animals, and they seem to keep their sense of fun into adulthood.
Gentle giants with hearts of gold
Bears grieve deeply for family members who die, and cubs are known to moan and cry when separated from their mothers.
Bears care deeply about family members. They will risk their lives and even fight to the death in order to save a cub or sibling from danger.
Sadly these magnificent animals are now endangered by humans encroaching on their habitat all over the world.
Some species like the sloth bear owe their survival to breeding programs in zoos like the Beekse Bergen Safari Park.
If you liked this story read more articles about bears.