Aug 21, 2012 9:52 AM by Breanna Roy - MTN News

Montana teen captures photo of balancing bear

MISSOULA - Although bears sometimes have a reputation for being heavy and clumsy, we now know of one bear in Grant Creek that is anything but, and 13-year old Holland Small of Missoula took the picture to prove it.

Small said, "The bear was like, it was on that branch over there and it stood on its hind legs and got up and started eating the berries."

Small is used to sharing her backyard with black bears; in fact, she already has a portfolio of photos she snapped of them last summer.

So when her trusty dog Molly - who only barks at bears - gave her the unmistakable signal last week, Holland grabbed her camera and clicked away.

She recalled, "I just kinda crouched down low so I wouldn't scare it and I just kinda kept taking multiple shots of it."

The bear looked right into her lens, as it somehow balanced its bulky body on a single fencepost.

Holland said, "Like one paw is about the size of the surface so, I don't know how he did that, maybe just put his claws in it."

Now Holland's summer vacation hobby is helping her build a base for a possible future in wildlife photography.

And Holland says this probably won't be the last photo she gets of the ursine acrobat in action: "it likes our apples, too, so it'll be back."

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