A curious bear has become the surprise star of wildlife cameras set up in Boulder, Colorado, taking hundreds of «selfies» in an apparent impromptu photo op, local officials said.

The city’s Open Space and Mountain Parks team set out to track animals living in the area using motion capture cameras, but were shocked to discover that of the 580 images captured by one camera, around 400 were of the same bear. .

Service face.Boulder Mountain Parks and Open Spaces

While the cameras often capture animals, including coyotes, beavers and black bears in the wild, officials said most creatures don’t normally notice the devices and just «walk right by.» This particular bear, however, seemed to be captivated by the camera.

«In this case, a bear took a particular interest in one of our wildlife cameras and took the opportunity to capture hundreds of selfies,» Phillip Yates, a spokesman for Open Space and Mountain Parks, said in a statement Thursday.

«These images made us laugh, and we thought others would too,» Yates said.

Image: The bear sticks out its tongue.
Seeming to meditate on the ephemeral nature of life, the series of photographs has pioneered a bold new hybrid of self-portrait and wildlife photography.Boulder Mountain Parks and Open Spaces

The cameras are activated when they detect an animal standing in front of them and the images are used to map wildlife areas and to «provide us with a unique opportunity to learn more about how local species use the landscape around us while minimizing our presence.» in sensitive areas. habitats,” Yates said.

While officials may not have expected photo shoots to be among those uses, Yates said images captured by wildlife cameras can also be used to help recommend measures to protect important natural areas.

matthew moschella contributed.