Bears can be somewhat annoyed by drones

We all know that drones can be annoying if you’re a pilot, a national park visitor, or the Japanese prime minister. But what if you’re a bear? Researchers led by the University of Minnesota’s Mark…

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This was not the most rigorous of studies. The researchers buzzed a small quadcopter around four American black bears, all of whom were wearing collars equipped with GPS and heart rate trackers. In 17 flights, there was only one occasion where a bear seemed to change its behavior in response to the drone.   However, every one of those flights saw the bears’ heart rates increase — in one case by as much as 123 bpm, and also for another bear that was hibernating. The heart rates usually returned to normal resting pace soon after the drone finished its flight. In short, the bears didn’t often exhibit behavioral changes, but always showed physiological responses.  The study doesn’t give a comprehensive answer to the question of how drones affect wildlife, but it’s important for more research to be conducted on this topic given the rapid pace at which drones are being adopted around the world. Also given that bears are both awesome and very low on the list of animals that you would ever want to upset.

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