Bears get up to a lot of strange things when they think no one is watching. Credit: BDN compilation

A video that Colin Chase’s trail cam captured showed a bear doing what looked like a pretty funky dance against a tree. It was something that bears do when humans aren’t around or when the large mammals aren’t stalking prey or being preyed upon: marking territory with their scent and also possibly shedding some winter fur.

The videos below illuminate some other eccentric and unexpected bear behavior.

The orthodontist’s view

This young bear was videoed on Mount Desert Island teething on a home security camera, or perhaps the bear was just playing. It offers really good views of the mouth of a bear, which looks surprisingly humanoid. Aside from some saliva deposits, the camera was still functioning when the bear moved on.

Home sweet home

Bears can make a home out of many places. This particular set of mother and cubs shacked up in a tree outside a family’s home in Orono. A state wildlife biologist lets the bears stay where they are.

On the 18th green

Things get tense when this group of state wildlife biologists tries to check on an abandoned bear cub placed with a surrogate mother in Edinburg. Outdoor writer John Holyoke narrates the video as one biologist approaches the bear den to tranquilize the momma bear like it’s the U.S. Open ― and not for fun. The whispering is necessary, because who would want to awaken a momma bear in winter?

Eat your heart out, Michael Phelps

It’s perhaps not what they’re best known for, but bears can swim. This particular bear churns through some of the deepest parts of Crescent Lake like it’s nothing.

Shopping after hours

Bears love to wander, particularly when they are hungry. This mama bear and two cubs got caught in a California mall. The mall guard who appears here might seem to be taking a risk ― approaching a group of lethal wild animals ― but if you listen carefully you can hear the motor of the go-cart he is riding, and anyway, they seem quite content to run away from him.