NYDailyNews These zoo patrons barely escaped! A grizzly bear tossed a 50-pound rock against a floor-to-ceiling observation glass pane, repeatedly battering the zoo enclosure until it appeared to crack. No, this was not a scene from bestseller James Patterson’s new serialized TV drama “Zoo.” Luckily for stunned visitors to the brown bear exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo on Monday, the 2 ½ inch thick safety glass pane held firm. But the 800-pound Alaskan grizzly, named Kenai, one of three orphaned bears at the Minneapolis zoo, was being playful and not aggressive, according to zookeepers. The public was never in any danger,” Zoo animal collections manager Tony Fisher told KMSP. “Not trying to get out. He was just playing with a rock.” A zoo-goer who witnessed the basketball-sized rock hurled at visitors said, “the bears (were) wrestling with each other and looking at the people,” Robin Ficker told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Then a bear fetched the rock from a man-made pool and smashed it against the glass. The exhibit will be closed while the zoo puts up a temporary partition. A replacement glass pane will take months to order and install, the zoo said. Fisher said Kenai is “usually the clown out there, fooling around in the water,” he told the Star Tribune. “He didn’t know what he was doing. He was just being a bear.”
When I first read the semi-misleading headline, I thought “Bears are evolving, they have learned to use tools, they will kill us all” but as it turns out this bear was just playing with a massive boulder and did not know it’s own strength. It picked up the boulder, which caused the rock to roll into the glass pane, and shatter the glass in front of the spectators. Unfortunately, this was not a failed escape attempt by a super intelligent grizzly bear, which would have made for a much better story.