Photo: Alaska bear uses barnacles as a scrub brush

March 6, 2012 

PHOTO BY VOLKER DEECKE

The young Southeast Alaska brown bear appears to be getting ready for his close-up: It pulled barnacle-covered rocks from the water and rubbed them around its neck and face. The sighting is being called "the first report of tool-using behavior in a wild brown bear" by a British researcher. "Perhaps in the future, we may see the dog replaced by the more cultured bear as our favored companion, quips an Earth Times writer.

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