Is the bear jumping for joy, playing copycat or something else entirely?
Whatever the answer, the video of a 5-year-old boy jumping on one side the glass while an Andean bear at the Nashville Zoo jumps on the other, has gone viral.
That after the boy’s father, Patrick Parker, shared the video online, which in turn has been watched and shared hundreds of thousands of times.
“Try to make him jump again,” Parker can be heard saying to Ian who is standing at the glassed-off exhibit.
And so, the bear does. The boy even taps on the glass (which is a no-no at zoos) by way of encouragement.
“That is so funny,” a woman can be heard saying off camera.
Media outlets around the world have picked up the story.
Parker telling ABC the jump session lasted 10 minutes.
IMITATION GAME: This bear lets his inner child out as he jumps in unison with a 5-year-old boy at the Nashville Zoo. https://t.co/bHmO0y8vMa pic.twitter.com/6MfqEu3R4y
— ABC News (@ABC) June 13, 2018
Which has prompted squeals of delight.
— Felichia Eaton (@FelichiaEaton) June 13, 2018
The best thing I’ve seen all year. https://t.co/YLiGBebcCa
— Russell (@Raleigh_Born) June 13, 2018
But also, concern about wild animals in captivity and treatment of creatures in zoos.
— Rachel 🐬☠ (@Rachelch35) June 13, 2018
You are correct I call them Animal Prisons! I worked in a zoo and would see the animals daily, their repetitive motions pacing back-and-forth, captivity creates psychosis.
— Matthew Star (@ScribblesTJ) June 13, 2018
Prompting zoo-goers and animals lovers to fight back.
The @sdzsafaripark is impressive with open ranges. An incredible alternative to zoo enclosures and lurking poachers in the wild. pic.twitter.com/G0Wwom6Jup
— Kat vac (@kathvac) June 14, 2018
For its part, the Nashville Zoo says its mission is “to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership.”
Main photo Patrick Parker/Facebook