A brown bear named Vali living at a Hungarian zoo was busy foraging for scraps of apples and carrots in his enclosure when he got sidetracked by a pesky crow floundering in a pool of water next to where the bear was eating. A viral video shot by Aleksander Medves and posted to YouTube, shows the bear going after the struggling bird and pulling the flailing fowl from the water. The drowning bird could have become game for the bear previously having dinner; but the video’s happy ending shows the bear yanking the bird from the water, followed by the bear casually going back to his vegetarian diet.
The rescue took place at the Budapest Zoo, according to a July 31 report from PIX 11, who referred to the bear and crow as having an “unlikely friendship.” The two-minute video depicts the bear leaving his dinner and then following the crow’s struggling movements. “After seconds of suffering, the bear paws at the crow and eventually grabs its wing by the mouth.”
After pulling the desperate and suffering crow from the water, onlookers fully expected the furry beast to gobble up the fowl. Instead, the bear dropped the bird onto dry land and then went back to his apple and carrot pieces. The bird may have been injured prior to the bear grabbing him by his wing and pulling him safely from the water.
After Vali rescued the crow, long tense moments went by with the bird lying on its back in the dirt. Then we can see the crow get on its feet and just stare at its savior while Vali enjoys an apple. Reportedly, the grateful crow hobbled off under his own steam.
This bear responds swiftly and purposefully, leaving no doubt that his intention from the beginning was not to harm but to help. The video shows animals demonstrate far more care when relating to each other and the world around them than some would give them credit for. They’re not single-minded predators; there’s much more to them than that. ~ One Green Planet
While some would prefer to think that the bear was exhibiting compassion and friendship for another member of the animal kingdom, another school of thought is that the bear fully intended to eat the crow – but didn’t because it would have been just too much trouble. Although many are hailing Vali as the hero bear for saving the crow, one of the commenters of the YouTube video claims that the bear was just following his instincts, according to Newsmax.
"Sorry to break it to you all, but this had nothing to do with compassion. The bear saw the crow as prospective food ... but after copping a beak to the nose (you can see the bite, and the bear shake it's head immediately after), it decide to move onto foodstuffs that don't entail potential wounds.”
Medves posted the video to YouTube on June 21. As of this writing, the video has been viewed almost four million times.