One animal’s home is another’s playground, according to CCTV footage from Massachusetts — especially when the other animal is a curious black bear cub.
Janet Pesaturo captured the video with a camera strategically attached to a tree at an undisclosed location in the central Massachusetts wilderness, she told McClatchy News in a telephone interview.
She has been into camera trapping for years. Long enough to know that beaver huts and dams tend to attract all sorts of other woodland creatures, large and small, predator and prey, she said.
But even Pesaturo was thrilled when she visited her trail camera in December and saw what he captured during the fall: a young “goofball cub” using the beaver hut as a “diving platform.”
“Bears are very curious about beaver huts,” Pesaturo said. “Occasionally they tear into it and try to get to the beavers, but most of the time they just sniff it.”
But this is the first time she’s seen a bear use a lodge as a diving board, she said.
She is self-taught when it comes to catching cameras but has learned a lot over the years and has even written a book on the subject entitled Guide to Catching Cameras: Tracks, Signs and Behavior of Eastern Wildlife. But here’s a free tip: point the camera at a beaver’s house; they are ‘biodiversity hotspots’.
Pesaturo has been keeping an eye on this special beaver hut on the edge of the pond for several years now. It was deserted when she first encountered it, the roof caved in, the previous tenants were nowhere to be seen.
While the lodge had been vacant for a while, a family of beavers moved in during the fall and began renovating it, adding sticks and mud as needed to make it their own.
“There were definitely beavers in there because I have a lot of videos of them building the lodge at night,” Pesaturo said.
Luckily for them, the cub and its mother—who appears from the right around the six-second mark—were not hungry for beaver that day.
Still, a few bears stomping on the roof must be a stressful experience.
“It’s probably disturbing for them to see a large animal in their lodge,” Pesaturo said.
As for the bears, they’ve probably found a den of their own by now to sleep through the coming cold months.
“The October fun in the beaver lodge was the last hurray for them [before the winter],” she said.
This story was originally published January 3, 2022 12:02 PM.