Witness ye, the world's first documented example of tool use in a bear. Scientist Volker B. Deecke discovered the "subadult brown bear in south-eastern Alaska" rubbing a barnacle-covered rock against its face. New Scientist reports,
The bear was moulting, and had big patches of fur hanging off its skin. Moulting bears often scratch themselves with their claws, or rub their bodies against trees or rocks. "The barnacles," Deecke says, "may have given that exfoliating feeling."
Spa day. Treat yourself, well-coiffed teenage brown bear.
Though bears are often witnessed scratching themselves against trees and boulders, this is the first documented example of a bear manipulating a freely-moving tool. [Animal Cognition, New Scientist, Daily What]