That’s the spot: North Carolina bear enjoys scratching its back on tree in viral video

In a hilarious moment captured on camera, a bear was filmed scratching its back outside a home in Asheville, North Carolina. 

The video, which was captured by Debra Howell, shows the bear leaning against a tree while sliding its back up and down. The bear appears to be enjoying the experience. 

Howell told social media agency Storyful that she was cooking dinner at home when she noticed a vehicle parked outside her house with someone looking at the bear.

"I went out to see what was going on and saw the bear scratching," Debra shared. "The car scared him, and he ran. However, as soon as the car left, he went back to the tree and started scratching again. I luckily had my camera and recorded the whole thing."


The video quickly went viral on social media, garnering more than a million views on TikTok. (Credit: Debra Howell via Storyful)

The video quickly went viral on social media, garnering more than 1.1 million views on TikTok as of Thursday.  

According to animal experts, there are many reasons bears scratch against trees. Sometimes they are marking their territory, scratching that hard-to-reach itch, or even attempting to repel disease-transmitting ticks.

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According to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Zoology, when bears wriggle against bark, the tree releases out resins and saps. These substances stick to the fur and effectively deter ticks. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.