'Smiling' black bear looking over Pasadena, CA goes viral

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Sunday, May 12, 2024
Photo of 'smiling' bear near Pasadena becomes social media sensation
A photo of what appears to be a happy - and smiling - black bear looking over Pasadena has become a hit on social media.

LOS ANGELES -- A photo of what appears to be a happy - and smiling - black bear looking over Pasadena, California has become a hit on social media.

"I find where I see animal tracks or animal activity happening and a nice scene I want to establish then I set the camera there, and I leave it for several weeks," said Los Angeles photographer Johanna Turner. "Then I come back and see what happened."

Well, something certainly happened two weeks ago when that smiling bear stepped in front of her trail cam.

"You know right away that you got something good," said Turner.

Over the past 10 years, Turner has photographed a wide variety of California wildlife, including mountain lions and bears.

"California has everything near the city that they have in the Sierra Nevada," she said. "I really wanted to show how close this wildlife is to Los Angeles and all these people."

But capturing the happy bear wasn't easy. Turner picked a spot in the mountains above Pasadena and set her camera up a year ago.

"It's a Canon camera that you'd normally use, but it's hooked to a motion sensor, so when the animal comes by, it senses motion, like your patio lights, and triggers the camera to go off," she said.

The popular photo is now giving her a reason to smile as well.

"After putting hours of work into something and having it come all together and seeing people enjoy it ... it's everything," said Turner.

Turner's photos are for sale with a portion of the proceeds go to various animal conservation groups. You can find more information on her website.