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Video of laundry-snuggling North Shore bear goes viral

Young bruins are naturally playful, North Shore black bear advocate says
Laundry bear web
A black bear rolls about in a North Vancouver resident's freshly laundered linens.

A video of a North Vancouver black bear frolicking in someone’s line-dried laundry is racking up thousands of views online.

The video, which was shared among friends and then posted to the Vancouver section of reddit.com, captures a young bear burying its face and rolling around in the freshly laundered linens.

In what has been a tough summer for bears in Metro Vancouver's North Shore, with seven killed in July alone, it was a moment of levity for Luci Cadman, education co-ordinator with the North Shore Black Bear Society.

“It’s adorable. It’s ridiculous,” she said. “Who doesn’t love fresh sheets?”

Reddit users quickly made the connection between the bear and Snuggle, the anthropomorphic laundry detergent spokesbear. (Others made more graphic comparisons to the Charmin bears, who hawk toilet paper.)

Cadman said the society routinely gets calls from North Shore residents who find bruins in their gardens, chewing on dog toys, playing with soccer balls or wading in pools.

“I think it really does capture the joyfulness of these animals. … We’ve seen them like that in the forest,” she said. “That’s just how they are, the younger bears – just playful and curious.”

While a laundry line wouldn’t be considered a typical “attractant” that the black bear society works so hard to keep out of people’s yards, anything with a scent may draw the interest of an ursine neighbour, Cadman said.

The sheet’s owner, though, may want to run it through the wash again.

“It must have smelt really, really lovely,” Cadman said. “The bear is going to smell nice now, but the sheet maybe not so much.”

Lately, the society has been heavily pushing the message that the best thing to do about a bear in your yard is to get to a safe place and in a calm but very firm voice, tell them it’s time to leave.

“We don't want them to get comfortable around our properties,” she said. “The bears are listening and moving on, and that's great.”