Scientists have observed that two male bears at a wildlife sanctuary in Croatia appear to enjoy engaging in oral sex.
According to a report in the latest Zoo Biology
journal, scientists observed "long-term, recurrent fellatio" in the captive brown bears.
Oral sex is usually regarded as a response to stress in animals, but the scientists reported that the bears appeared to engage in the activity for pleasure.
The report explained: "The provider always initiated the contact involving vigorous penile sucking that appeared to result in ejaculation. All cases appeared to be initiated by the provider, who approached the receiver while he was resting on his side or with part of his abdomen exposed.
"If the receiver’s genitals were not exposed, the provider would push his head into the pelvic region or use his paws to separate the hind legs. After accessing and initial licking of the penis, the provider would find a more comfortable posture, such as sitting or lying… once actual sucking started, neither bear changed position."
The two bears were brought to the sanctuary as orphans, and scientists have theorised that the behaviour stems from "early deprivation of maternal suckling".
"In the case reported here, the provider may have found a substitute for teat‐sucking that also resulted in a let‐down of substitute ‘milk’," the scientist wrote.
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