He’s got the force … of nature.
Last week, the Twitter account for Yosemite National Park shared a video of a black bear they’d spotted climbing a tree, who seemed to have an announcement for visitors.
“WRHARARAAR,” he shouted. “YRRRNHAAH.”
“Sounds like Chewbacca,” one “Star Wars” fan noted on Twitter.
In their original tweet, however, park officials noted that there could be good reason for the adult male black bear’s vocalizing.
“Bears can produce a wide repertoire of sounds, typically when defensive, afraid, distressed, or aggressive,” they said. “We’re not sure what prompted this unscheduled a cappella concert.”
On Facebook, the park officials further explained that it’s a sound most humans don’t get to hear out of bears.
“The most common sound heard by humans is a loud blowing indicating defensiveness or fear, produced when people approach much too close (sometimes, this is combined with teeth-clacking or bluff charging in a defensive, ‘stay-away-from-me’ display),” they wrote on October 15.
“In friendly interactions with mates, cubs, and play partners, however, bears communicate using a variety of grunts,” they continued. “During rare displays of high emotion, bears sometimes produce the loud, resonant voice heard here. This can resemble a scream (typically used by cubs in distress), bawling (indicating pain or fear for cubs), moans (when afraid or frustrated), bellows (during combat between adults), or a deep pulsing noise (when a bear feels seriously threatened).”
Without knowing what threat may lurk, followers on social media attempted to decipher his wails.
“He is telling the humans to get away. He doesn’t want to get trouble if he has to confront any of them,” a bear sympathizer responded.
“Maybe he didn’t like all the people on the ground gawking at him?” suggested another Facebook user.
However, most who responded had feared that the bear might be calling for help.
“I’ve translated it: ‘Help! I’m stuck! Why are you filming? Get a ladder you a - - hole!” someone joked.
“Perhaps in pain?” a concerned citizen asked.
Despite the somewhat stressed tone, the park assured concerned followers that the bear looks in good shape and was not in any immediate danger.
“We see this bear frequently, and he seems to be quite healthy!” Yosemite’s account responded. They also pointed out that 2020 has been particularly good for the bear population in Yosemite.
“This was actually a great year for them, with a bumper raspberry crop and a big acorn season (that’s why he’s up in an oak tree),” the park replied in a Facebook comment.
Good health and resemblance to Chewie aside, one can’t help but relate to the bear’s yearning yowl.
Said one person, “He sounds like me when I wake up thinking 2020 has just all been a bad dream . . . but slowly realize it is not.”
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