A breathtaking video released by a conservation organization shows a bear walking around the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, coming heart-stoppingly close to people as it scampers among the rocks and grass.
The video was released as the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reports the results of a new survey of Andean bears at the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu— and the survey found that bears are all over the impressive site.
Researchers spent about a year, from 2014 to 2015, studying an area over 140 square miles. They found Andean bears in over 95 percent of the Machu Picchu sanctuary. Those bears are part of a larger population of ursines, and WCS says that what they’ve learned from the survey will help figure out how best to manage the species. Part of that involves protecting its habitat.
The dramatic Machu Picchu site— part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List— dates to the Inca Empire and the 15th century, even if it didn’t become known globally until 1911. Its structures and terraces are about 8,000 feet above sea level in the Peruvian Andes.