Shocking TikTok video reveals tapeworms in wild bear: Wildlife photographer’s startling discovery

Picture courtesy of Sanook.

A viral video, viewed over 24 million times, features documentary wildlife photographer Mark Bouldoukian, known as @markian.b on TikTok, having a startling encounter with a brown bear with what appeared to be long white ropes attached to its rear but in reality, these were not ropes but rather tapeworms.

The video’s creator indicated that tapeworms residing inside bears can grow up to 30 feet or more, a length he had never witnessed before.

Tapeworms are flat, ribbon-like parasites, typically dull white. Their bodies consist of segments without internal divisions, ranging from 2-4 millimetres to several metres in length. The entire tapeworm, known as strobili, is divided into three main parts: the head (scolex), neck, and segments (proglottid). Each segment houses both male and female reproductive organs. Adult tapeworms are found in the intestines of mammals, including humans and vertebrates.


A tapeworm living inside a bear can reach lengths of 30 feet or more. #bears #brownbears #alaska #wildife #tapeworms #bearsofalaska

♬ original sound – Mark Bouldoukian

The video triggered a sense of shock and horror amongst viewers, as they witnessed the unsettling reality of nature and the life cycle of parasites, Sanook reported.

In related tapeworm news, a 67 year old Thai man complaining of stomach pain and extreme flatulence found out his symptoms were from an 18-metre-long tapeworm, possibly the longest tapeworm in Thailand in 50 years.

The patient gave a stool sample during a visit to a doctor in the Isaan province Nong Khai, which borders Laos. Lab tests found 28 eggs in the sample. The patient was given deworming medicine. He took it right before bed, and by the morning, the worm was coming out of his rectum.

The parasite, known by the scientific name Taenia Saginata, is also called the beef tapeworm. The head of the Parasitic Disease Research Centre in Nakhon Ratchasima where the man’s stool sample was tested, Schawanya Rattanapitoon, says these tapeworms are usually transmitted to humans when they eat raw beef containing tapeworm eggs. Read more about this HERE.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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