Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Grizzly bear school

One beautiful May morning in Yellowstone park I happened upon a sow grizzly and her two little cubs at a small creek.

At first the mother bear was on one side and her cubs were on the other. All three bears were vocalizing a lot. The sow was calling for the cubs to come to her, but they loudly protested and stayed where they were.

The sow grizzly then jumped the creek and joined her cubs.

After briefly encouraging them to follow her she jumped back across to demonstrate what she wanted from them.

The cubs stayed put and called to their mother while she continued to call to them from the opposite bank.

I watched the mother bear jump back and forth across the creek two more times before she changed the plan.

Her cubs were just a month or two out of the den and not willing to get into the water just yet. The swimming lessons would have to wait for another time. The mother grizzly stayed on the cubs' side of the creek and led them around the water and off into the distance.

Many of the strategies that bears use for getting food and surviving in the wild are learned behaviors that mother bears teach their cubs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how small those bear cubs are. Thanks for the great photos and story.