There’s an oft-quoted meme called “Rule 34” that goes: “if it exists, there is internet porn of it.” I’d like to propose a similar, if more chaste, adage: If it’s a cute animal video, there’s a 50 percent chance there’s a depressing backstory.
This proved true once again for that viral video you may have seen circulating of a baby bear scaling a snowy mountainside. The bear’s mom waits on top of the mountain. The cub almost reaches her, but slips time and time again. Finally, it makes it.
At face value, the clip is an outwardly adorable example of perseverance, a moving version of the “hang in there” kitten poster. In reality, it’s likely the result of [Werner Herzog voice] man’s dark and distressing interference with nature.
Per the Atlantic, biologists were immediately bothered by what they saw:
The video, they say, was clearly captured by a drone. And in it, they saw the work of an irresponsible drone operator who, in trying to film the bears, drove them into a dangerous situation that almost cost the cub its life.
They also say that the mother bear probably wouldn’t have even been taking a chance at attempting to climb such a steep mountainside with her baby if she hadn’t already felt threatened by the drone.
Let this serve as your daily reminder to never enjoy anything ever.