A black bear scaled a barbed wire fence at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida, on Aug. 10, according to video recorded from a passing car.
Panama City realtor Kevin Dalrymple recorded the bear’s athletic climb, its careful shimmying over the barbed wire, and its gallop into the woods beyond the fence.
The bear is midway up the fence when the video begins and is atop the barbed wire less than five seconds later.
According to the video, it takes about 10 seconds to get its body over the wires, pressing its paws into them for balance. Then it drops down and scampers out of sight.
In what the base described as “an amusing and charismatic perk,” Tyndall’s stretches of “uninhabited, natural land” are home to Florida black bears.
Dalrymple told Storyful that while the bears can be seen wandering through parking lots and “scaring the personnel on base from time to time,” the Aug. 10 sighting was in “a less-traveled part of the base.”
The bears are “very mellow” and keep things interesting, according to Tech. Sgt. Arnold Sandoval, 325th Force Support Squadron Berg-Liles Dining Facility manager.
Sandoval recalled the way bears acted around one of their hotspots, the dining facility.
“They don’t come for the trash, and they don’t make any trash,” he said. “Instead, the mama bear would drop her two cubs off in the morning, go and do her errands for the day and come back for them after dinner. She treats us like a daycare.”
While the base wrote that encounters with the local black bears can be “genuinely positive,” one soldier at another base recently had a different experience.
An Army soldier died in May after a bear attack while training in Alaska.
The soldier was part of a small group of troops conducting exercises in Training Area 412 west of the Anchorage Regional Landfill at the time of the deadly attack.