When wildlife researchers in Kochi Prefecture set up an unmanned camera in a local forest to find the cheeky wilderness creature stealing honey from an animal trap they’d set up, they probably expected to find a clever squirrel or some other creature too small or quick to set off the trap door.

Instead, what they found in video footage was what can only be described as real-life Winnie the Pooh turned to petty crime to fund his hopeless honey addiction.

The 16-year-old bear had been caught in the trap twice in the past and, apparently not too fond of all the researchers’ poking and prodding in the name of science, the male bear devised a plan to outwit the trap’s simple door mechanism so he could have his honey and eat it too.

Winnie the Pooh (actually nicknamed “Gonda” by researchers) figured out that by crawling into the trap and extending his legs, he could block the door from closing all the way, allowing him to jimmy the door back open with a paw and crawl back out, loot in hand.

▼ A diagram of how Gonda got away with the perfect crime.


Researchers must now adapt their traps specifically for Gonda by making them too big to stick his legs through, or risk losing a whole lot more honey. Alternately, they could implore Christopher Robin to convince the bear to turn himself in.

Source and photos: Hachima Kikou