Time To Go

Grizzly bears are interesting and complex animals. The maternal instincts of the mother grizzly are legendary, she is both attentive and protective of her young - to the death if necessary. It is touching to observe the sow grizzly nurse her young, guide their first wobbly steps and lead them to food and protection in their first days away from the den. Mortality can be high in the first couple of years; lack of food and predation from aggressive male grizzlies is particularly dangerous to the cubs. If the cubs survive however, the mother grizzly must ultimately force her cubs to become independent. Hopefully they have learned the lessons of survival mom has shared so they can move into the second stage of their lifecycle at around three years of age. Recently I had the privilege of observing and photographing a couple of young bears just beginning the difficult process of independence. I was glad that the two cubs at least had each other, they stayed very close together I noticed. Yes, their was some squabbling over a freshly captured ground squirrel and you could tell that one of the cubs was a bit more assertive than its sibling but I have to think that their odds are a little better having some companionship . Here's a photo of the pair heading up a hillside towards forest cover for the night (fingers crossed for these amazing creatures!)