BRITISH COLUMBIA

Diving Grizzly Bear May Point To Bigger Issue: Researcher

09/23/2015 06:24 EDT | Updated 09/23/2015 06:59 EDT

A B.C. diving bear's unusual hunting habit is certainly eye-catching, but one researcher warns that it might be a bad sign.

The adult male grizzly was seen diving for dead salmon at the bottom of a pool near Glendale Cove on B.C.'s central coast.

John Kitchin, a bear researcher working in the area, caught the animal going bottoms up in a video he posted to YouTube this week. (Watch above.)

Kitchin, who is writing a thesis on human animal interactions, nicknamed the bear "Jacques Cousteau" after the famed ocean explorer.

He said all bears will "snorkel" for dead salmon if they're hungry enough, but added that Jacques' method is a little unconventional.

"Most bears don't like to get their ears wet, so Jacques is pretty unique in this population because he doesn't seem to mind that too much," the researcher told HuffPost B.C. in an email.

But even though a diving bear is a neat sight, Kitchin said it could point to health concerns.

"What is similarly remarkable about this behaviour, is that this mature male bear was fishing during the day in front of a stand full of people taking photos," he explained, adding that most male bears usually avoid people while they hunt.

Kitchin said that Jacques might be so desperately "food-stressed" that he's become indifferent to humans, which could be dangerous during trophy hunting season.

"If he walks out of the bush to feed on salmon carcasses elsewhere at this time of year, he could become a trophy for a hunter standing over the river just like the harmless tourists were."

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