The nationwide 'Bear Hunt' in which people are leaving teddy bears in windows is helping banish coronavirus boredom during a school holidays spent in lockdown.

New Zealanders' trick to add a little escapism to morning walks has been turning heads around the world.

Across the country there are supposedly almost 20,000 windows with bears in.

Just look up on your next walk, you'll likely see a pair of button eyes staring back. One of the largest organised bear hunts has been set up by Annlee Scott, from Hamilton, and the game has had tens of thousands join, including PM Jacinda Ardern.


But considering New Zealand is part of only two continents never to have had a native species of the creature, it seems we are fascinated by animals we barely know. (The other continent is Antarctica, for a bonus bit of trivia.)

Bear watching tourism has brings in US$25million a year to Canada, which the Center for Responsible Travel estimates as ten times that by hunting.

However, there is a great issue with tourism industry that conflates cuddly toys with a 700kg grizzly bear.

In some cases we could be loving bears to death. Recent incidents in the sub arctic involving bear encounters and expedition cruises have left polar bears dead.

In Longyearbyen in the outer Norwegian archipelago, the 40 per cent increase of tourists to 48,000 in the past decade and decreasing habitats for the bears has made conflict unavoidable. In 2018 Morten Wedege the local head of environmental protection said, more bear incidents are a "mathematical certainty".

But there's little harm in this kind of bear hunt. The Great Kiwi Bear Hunt is a far more cuddly pastime.

Take our quiz to show just how well you know this much loved but misunderstood creature, and the places they are really found.