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Bears Seen Performing Oral Sex, But A Bit Differently

Update Date: Jun 18, 2014 01:48 AM EDT

Birds do it, bees do it, but bears sometimes do it a lot. 

In a new study, researchers are reporting that a pair of male brown bear at a zoo in Croatia have been engaging in oral sex more frequently than ever. 

Over the course of 116 hours of observations, researchers found that they engaged in fellatio (oral stimulation of penis) 28 times. Its about one act of fellatio for every four hours and each act ranged in duration from 1 minute to 4 minutes. 

"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," researchers wrote. 

The reason behind these animals engaging in this kind of sexual behavior, according to researchers, is that bears were orphaned at an early age: 

"We suggest that the behavior may have started as a consequence of prematurely curtailed maternal suckling when these bears were orphaned as cubs. Brown bear cubs suckle their mother for milk, bonding, and comfort ... Orphaned bear cubs may suck their own or their sibling's body parts, such as paws or ears, as a substitute for their mother's nipples. 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"," researchers mentioned in their study. 

The paper has been published in the journal Zoo Biology. 

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