VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK, Minnesota — Images of a huge and obviously well-fed bear are getting international attention after the animal waddled past a trail camera in northern Minnesota, its belly swaying just above the ground.
The incident happened in Voyageurs National Park, at a location about 20 kilometres south of the Canadian border in the Rainy Lake area.
The Voyageurs Wolf Project posted the humorous video to its Facebook and Twitter accounts with the note that it might be the fattest bear the research team has ever seen.
They estimate its weight at 700 to 800 pounds (318 to 363 kilograms).
According to the Federation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife, the heaviest bear ever harvested in this province was 780 pounds.
"Unfortunately, we only got one video of this beauty but it is enough to appreciate the bear's curves and figure...it worked hard for that body!" the Voyageurs Wolf Project post said.
The video was recorded in early October, prior to hibernation.
It's speculated that one of the reasons the bear got so plump is that it may have spent the summer at the Vince Schute Bear Sanctuary just south of the park.
"That sanctuary feeds a lot of wild black bears...and this would allow bears to get really fat," VWP spokesperson Tom Gable told TBNewswatch.
Gable said the director of the sanctuary believes it's one of their bears, however he noted that the trail camera is 35 kilometres from the sanctuary.
"This distance likely is not that far for an adult bear but still a pretty good distance," he said.