Drone footage of a baby bear captured on June 19, 2018 in the Magadan region of Russia is now under fire. The video has received over 17 million views.
Originally the footage circulated as a symbol of perseverance, with people retweeting it with comments like "We could all learn a lesson from this baby bear: Look up & don't give up."
But now biologists who have watched the video find it anything but cute, warning that the bear was probably trying to get her cub away from a perceived threat. They say that as the drone gets closer, the mama bear swiped her baby away, knocking him down the slope, to get him away from the approaching drone.
Sophie Gilbert, an ecologist at the University of Idaho who studies how drones affect wildlife, told the Atlantic: "I found it really hard to watch.
"It showed a pretty stark lack of understanding from the drone operator of the effects that his actions were having on the bears.”
Grizzly bear expert Clayton Lamb, from the University of Alberta, said: "It doesn’t matter how far away it was, because I can tell from the bears’ behaviour that it was too close".