A pair of male brown bears in Croatia has been observed engaging in frequent oral sex by researchers, who have been recording their performance for the last six years.
While the animals most likely engage in such action for pleasure, researchers suspect the habit may have started as they were forced to remain away from their mothers at early ages, reported Live Science.
The two male bears were separated from their mothers soon after birth in 2003 and were confined at a sanctuary in Kuterevo, Croatia. For over several years and 116 hours of close observation, a team of scientists led by Agnieszka Sergiel, of the Polish Academy of Sciences' Department of Wildlife Conservation, viewed 28 acts of oral sex between the bears.
The larger bear was the one who always received fellatio. Scientists witnessed many incidents, where the larger one experienced an orgasm with a muscular contraction from the sexual act that lasted for few minutes. He was found to push the smaller one off with his hind leg or just turned away once the deed was over.
The scientists have advertised their study as the "first observations of long‐term, recurrent fellatio in captive brown bears kept in proper conditions after being orphaned."
This is not the first time that researchers have observed such act between bears. Previously, bears were seen performing fellatio, or auto-fellatio along with masturbation while in captivity, but these were considered unusual activity as bears live in substandard conditions.
Scientists explain that sexual pleasure seems to be a motivation for many species that engage in oral sex. Lions and female cheetah lick their partner's genitals before having intercourse. While kinky bonobos engage in the deed to ease out social tension, female Chinese fruit bats involve in oral sex to engage males in prolonging the deed.
In the study, the two brown bears may have engaged in fellatio for sexual satisfaction. But the team of researchers was amazed to find that the provider was the one who always prompted oral sex.
The bears at a very young age were forced to stop sucking milk from their mothers. Researchers explained that orphaned animals are often seen involving in sucking their own or their sibling's ears, paws or other body parts as an alternative to their mother's nipples. Researchers speculate that act of the provider in this study, could be infantile behavior.
But there are a few more mysteries suurounding the act of these male bears. The researchers are unclear as to why only one of the bears would perform fellatio or why does the act persist for so long. They, however, acknowledge that the behavior could be a weird affect of life in captivity.
The details of the report were published online in June in the journal Zoo Biology.