A Woman Waved At This Bear From Inside Her Car. Then The Animal’s Reaction Was Captured On Camera

Image: YouTube/homefry815

The woman had heard about the Olympic Game Farm, but visiting the drive-through wildlife attraction in person was another experience entirely. What’s more, it only got more exciting when she saw one of the exhibit’s famous bears up close and personal. She was so close, in fact, that she even gave the animal a wave. And what happened next left her astonished.

Image: Analise Zocher

The wildlife exhibit in question is more properly known as the Olympic Game Farm (OGF), and it’s to be found in Sequim in the State of Washington. Notwithstanding its name, though, the attraction actually has a lot in common with wildlife parks. For one thing, the farm appeals to animal lovers, as it offers them the opportunity to get close to its furry and feathered residents.

Image: Robert Beebe via Motherboard

Back in the 1950s, the farm was dubbed Disney’s Wild Animal Ranch, and it was in the employ of Walt Disney Studios. It was also nowhere near as well known to the public during that era. And the grounds were used both as a film set and as a place in which to keep the animal actors between filming.

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Image: Paul Schultz

Hence, the only cameras allowed on the farm back then were Disney’s film cameras. During this time, too, OGF’s animals became celebrities, starring in movies and TV series until 1972. Then when Roy Disney, the studio’s co-founder and Walt’s brother, passed away, OGF opened its doors to the animal-loving public.

Image: Sean O’Neill

When OGF first allowed public access, it was with the intention of testing its own earning potential. Fortunately, Disney Studios concluded that the farm could support itself financially. As a result, the animals were able to stay there, and the farm eventually became the Disney-incorporated OGF of today.

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Image: Analise Zocher

People visiting the farm nowadays can see animals that they’re unable to safely approach in the wild, such as zebras and bison. Yet while visitors get great views of the wildlife during the farm’s driving or walking tours, that’s not all. For one, the public can also feed the fauna with wheat bread provided by OGF.

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The farm has in addition received worldwide acclaim for one of its species in particular: Kodiak bears. You see, these Alaskan natives have gained a name for themselves over the years at OGF as being friendly and welcoming. Bears don’t usually have the most amiable reputations, mind you.

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Image: Tirzah

After all, people arguably think of them as being unsociable and lone creatures, even among their own species. It’s an assumption that may have arisen from the infrequency with which bears interact in the wild. However, this could simply be a result of the habitats of bears being so expansive.

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Image: Analise Zocher

Yet when bears do encounter one another in the wild, it can be as potential competitors for mates or food – and lead to confrontations. On the other hand, when these factors are removed, it is not unheard of for the animals to be friendly towards one another.

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Image: neoerik

Yes, not only have bear families been known to live close together peacefully when resources are abundant, but they have also been seen to be companionable. Indeed, it seems that bears can and will enjoy one another’s company for extended periods in these circumstances. They can even play together, which takes the form of roughhousing.

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However, because bear play fights look more aggressive than they really are, people mistake such interactions for conflict. The same can also be said of their dominance displays, which occur when two males sharing the same habitat meet. Generally, you see, such face-offs are purely bluster and intimidation.

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Image: YouTube/homefry815

But although bears have perhaps wrongly acquired an antisocial reputation, no one can deny the friendliness of OGF’s bears. And the following example is a classic case in point. On June 28, 2010, one visitor uploaded video footage showing just how welcoming the animals can be.

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Image: YouTube/homefry815

It all comes through the perspective of a female visitor to the farm. On her tour through OGF, the unidentified woman passes through the bears’ area, where she spots a Kodiak bear. The large ursine creature is seen sitting on its hind legs watching the woman’s car as it passes. The woman, meanwhile, is highly entertained by her observer.

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Image: YouTube/homefry815

So, the visitor decides to greet her new friend with a wave. And much to her amazement, the bear leans back and waves its paw in answer. It’s an adorable sight – although the event also prompts another person in the vehicle to burst out laughing.

Image: YouTube/homefry815

Since it was uploaded to YouTube, the video has amused people across the world, just as it did the woman starring in the footage. In fact, the vid has been liked by 89,000 of the 18,752,375 people who’ve viewed it so far. In short, the internet fell in love with the polite and courteous bear.

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Some people saw the adorable ursine as something akin to a sweet teddy bear. “Hugging this bear would almost be worth the mauling,” one person wrote. Another commented, “The way he waves could be an animation right out of a Pixar movie.”

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The wave wasn’t a one-time thing, either; indeed, it’s actually the reason that OGF’s bears are so famous. And the farm’s official website reveals the explanation for why the bear was so very polite: the animals have learned to wave so that visitors will reward them.

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Image: YouTube/ballochboy123

OGF’s president, Robert Beebe, spoke to website Motherboard about the bears on April 14, 2017. “It’s something they’ve always done,” Beebe explained. “The [original bears] were hand-raised here in the house with my grandparents, so they were really used to people.”

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Image: YouTube/ballochboy123

Beebe also revealed that the bears actually learned the trick themselves. “They had some other training off and on. But waving was not [part of that training],” he said. “The bears would do something funny or cute, and the tourists would get excited and throw bread out.”

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Image: YouTube/ballochboy123

“It only took a little while for the bears to put two and two together,” Beebe continued. “Bears are pretty smart, and they can figure things out pretty quickly.” What’s more, the results have made them famous, and they never have to work too hard for their beloved bread treats.

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