Bears behaving adorably: From tetherball to trumpet

We all know bears are excellent fishermen, picnic thieves and hibernators, but it turns out those are just a few of their many talents. Most recently, a tetherball-loving bear named Eli has impressed Internet users with his dedication to smacking a yellow orb back and forth at the Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary in Reno, Nev. In honor of Eli’s skills, which would rival those of any kid on the playground, take a look at other awesome bear activities that have been caught on camera. 

All images courtesy Maryann Vanadia All images courtesy Maryann Vanadia

1. Slipping and sliding

In early Sept., Maryanna Vanadia discovered a family of bears testing out the playground in the backyard of her Roxbury, N.J. home, according to NBC News. The bears quickly scattered when her children set off an air horn. 

2. Enjoying a dip in the pool on a hot summer day

This bear jumped a fence and walked on top of walls in a Los Angeles neighborhood, until it settled on one backyard for an afternoon swim and snack.

3. Boarding a jet ski

A bear in King Salmon, Alaska, was photographed hopping aboard a jet ski in early August. Getting on was the easy part: He fell off the jet ski and back into the water soon after he made his way to the steering wheel.

4. Crossing the street

Not all bears are as curious as this little one, who wandered through the town of Gatlinburg, Tenn., in Sept. The black bear cruised along the sidewalks, attempted to sneak into the town's convention center, and even crossed the street before calling it a day.

5. Devouring a pumpkin

Turns out even bears like pumpkins — and playing with their food. Rather than carving them, these brown bears at the Bronx Zoo clawed their way to the good stuff, rolling them around on the ground in between hearty bites.

6. Dancing together

Okay, they're not really dancing, but it sure looks that way. This pack of bears from Canada was caught on camera brushing up against a rub tree. The scent the bears leave behind helps them communicate with other animals. 

7. Dumpster diving

When bears are on the prowl for dinner, they can be rather clever (and terrifying) creatures. And this bear in Colorado Springs got so greedy that it rolled away an entire dumpster before feasting on the tossed food waiting inside. Then he came back the next night, and did the same exact thing. Impressive. 

8. Playing the trumpet

We're well aware bears don't just pick up the trumpet and start playing a tune all on their own, but this video from Russia is pretty amazing nonetheless. This bear can play a musical instrument, hula hoop, and sit in a chair, just like us humans. 

9. Underwater dribbling

This polar bear, caught on camera by YouTube user wong1340, is showing off his excellent underwater dribbling skills — further proof that bears are remarkably adept at games requiring balls.