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It's a bear. Playing tetherball.
October 14, 2013 11:35 AM   Subscribe

You should watch this bear play tetherball.
posted by The Whelk (42 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know, for bears.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, his partners in crime are just about finished digging the tunnel to freedom.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:37 AM on October 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


What the hell is this all about?
posted by Mister_A at 11:39 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


My cat could take this bear at tetherball. Well, if he was the same size as the bear. Which would make him awfully difficult to handle. He is hard enough to get off my desk now. But he is ace at tetherball.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:40 AM on October 14, 2013


It's no chimpanzee riding on a Segway, but it does have a je'n'sais quoi about it.
posted by briank at 11:42 AM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


English bulldog version
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:43 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That bear is terrible at tetherball! He is a disgrace to the sport of tetherball, and to bears.
posted by Mister_A at 11:43 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Waiting for the sequel where Putin comes on and bests the bear 2 out of 3 games.
posted by aught at 11:44 AM on October 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Interestingly enough, the same thing can be done with a human head, provided there's enough internal slack on the esophagus.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:44 AM on October 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


it wasn't cute.. it was more a little terrifying and also: hey, he's pushing it and spinning it around just like I would if I were presented with a ball on a string... what does that say about humans I wonder?
posted by royalsong at 11:44 AM on October 14, 2013


Yeah it was a bit terrifying, royalsong. Imagine being right up next to that thing! No thanks. Funny though how it ducks its huge, bone-crushing skull to avoid a bash from the ball.
posted by Mister_A at 11:48 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


English bulldog version

I can't decide which I like best, the goofy delight of the bulldog or the galloping tomfoolery of the other dog who is apparently not quite clever enough (maybe not patient enough) to understand the exciting ball-on-a-string situation right nearby.
posted by elizardbits at 11:48 AM on October 14, 2013


Bag training is good for your timing. He has a good right hook, and he keeps his left up. He ought to do a little more on his footwork, though.

He could take the bulldog.
posted by mule98J at 11:50 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Isn't that tetherball a bit overengineered for humans? I remember tetherball from when I was a child and my memories of tetherball-scale more closely resembles this than the linked video.

It's as if that tetherball was built for bears!
posted by mistersquid at 11:51 AM on October 14, 2013


Hey, I saw that bear last month! (For real. Here's my video of him.)

Don't read the next part of my comment if you don't want to hear a bummer.








As cute as his tetherballing is, he also has this tic where after bashing the ball, he raises his left arm (leg?) and puts his nose to it while the ball orbits him. It's the kind of tic that plagues animals in captivity, and it's kind of sad. The tetherball is really his only stimulation.

This particular bear was hit by a car near Lake Tahoe when he was a cub. He was treated and is fine now, but he got frostbite and lost his ears. Therefore, he lives at the Animal Ark rehab center. They didn't believe he'd survive in the wild with his injury. (They do not, however, think that he is hearing impaired.)

He is cute, though, and my family and I stood and watched him for a good 20 minutes.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:52 AM on October 14, 2013 [21 favorites]


Sorry bear, corgis have already covered this space.
posted by kmz at 11:54 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow - no "let the Wookie win" -type comments yet? Y'all are slipping.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:58 AM on October 14, 2013


I like how it goes from "NOM THE BALL" to swat the ball.

I can't decide which I like best, the goofy delight of the bulldog or the galloping tomfoolery of the other dog who is apparently not quite clever enough (maybe not patient enough) to understand the exciting ball-on-a-string situation right nearby.

Canine empathy. You just need to recreate tomfool dog's inner dialogue:
"wheeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeee heheheeee..."
"wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee heeee!!"

then it all makes sense.
posted by fraula at 12:07 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie, I did notice that! I thought it might be some kind of disease process, but it's the result of his captivity?
posted by Mister_A at 12:09 PM on October 14, 2013


Mister_A: Yep, just a tic.

The jaguar who lives there paces nonstop.

The place is apparently well regarded as a rehab facility, but its animals don't know that. To them, it's just like being in a zoo.

Sorry. Now back to cuteness!
posted by mudpuppie at 12:21 PM on October 14, 2013


cute + terrifying + existential ennui
posted by goethean at 12:29 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Considering that this bear lives with this tether ball, I'm going to be an additional voice saying he sucks at it.

I was expecting it to be a bear that had invaded a kids' playground. And I'll admit that I was also hoping the bear was going to go sit on a swing or slide down a slide.

Or something.
posted by bilabial at 12:38 PM on October 14, 2013


The video mad me sad. Reading mudpuppy's comment made me sadder.
posted by fredludd at 12:54 PM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hello, I'm Pavel. This is my bear
posted by Tom-B at 1:03 PM on October 14, 2013


It's when Iorek Byrnison was drunk, basically.
posted by Zerowensboring at 1:31 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


To Pavel's bear: How undignified.
—Any wild bear watching
posted by simulacra at 1:50 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That bear is terrible at tetherball!

Good/terrible, who cares? The first rule of bear tetherball is: The bear always wins.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:29 PM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's a panda chomping on a Kong dog toy. (via the National Zoo pandacam, sigh)
posted by argonauta at 2:36 PM on October 14, 2013


Tetherball!
Bouncing, bouncing, it'll never fall!
Everywhere the bears will hear its call!
It is the tetherball!
It is the tetherball!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2013


The video mad me sad. Reading mudpuppy's comment made me sadder.

But here's a creature that people decided they wouldn't give up on, for whatever reason, and that makes me happy.
posted by sutt at 3:06 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


But here's a creature that people decided they wouldn't give up on, for whatever reason, and that makes me happy.

I'm of two minds about it, myself. I can see it both ways.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:38 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


This bear plays tetherball much like me: by hitting the ball blindly, and then ducking.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:48 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought it was great! Granted, it's not as good as living in the wild, but, as sutt implies, what are the alternatives? He's alive, and all he really needs is more toys and stimulation. Looks like his pool's drained for the winter, and while he has some toys (red thing and a tire) he probably could use more things that he could interact with. If it weren't so against our human sensibility, what would probably make him overjoyed is to have him skip a meal and then turn a goat in with him.

Barring that, I'd like to see someone go in there in a steel suit and play him two outta three.


Interestingly enough, the same thing can be done with a human head, provided there's enough internal slack on the esophagus.

Strange Interlude, I have spice tea on my keyboard, and its. all. your. fault!
posted by BlueHorse at 3:49 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


More so than the bear, I enjoyed this comment:

30 minutes ago I was reading an article on ESPN. How did I even get here?

How, indeed? And where have you been all these years? I remember asking myself that question when I first met the internet all those years ago but now I just take it as a detour on my ride on the Information Highway and don't question it any more.

Oh, Newbies--you're just so darned cute!
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:21 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Poor bastard needs to be scratching that itch at a river, catching fish instead.
posted by planetesimal at 5:30 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I had some money, I would spring for that bear to get some more toys.
posted by JHarris at 5:51 PM on October 14, 2013


It's the kind of tic that plagues animals in captivity, and it's kind of sad.

Or! Or he is just scratching a mosquito bite in between swings at the ball and is really good at multitasking! Yep! That has to be it!
posted by orme at 5:56 PM on October 14, 2013


That tetherball pole was cruel.

The rope was tied off on on a yardarm and since it was off center it robbed the bear of the satisfying physics a symmetrical pole provides.
posted by surplus at 6:40 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like how he hits the ball then puts his paw up to protect his face. There's some history there.
posted by fshgrl at 8:54 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think he'd rather play dodgeball.
posted by Anitanola at 9:31 PM on October 14, 2013


I wouldn't want to go up against the bear, but I'm pretty sure I could take the bulldog.

Well, the corgis, definitely.

One corgi, anyway.

My elementary school had two tether ball poles, but for some reason, actually getting the balls tethered to them was a major thing, so we only managed to play tether ball maybe twice a year. My lack of practice was overshadowed only by my lack of natural talent.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:59 PM on October 14, 2013


Man, he's really bad at it. Does this stupid bear have any concept of the rules of the game?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:06 AM on October 15, 2013


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