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Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Bear Family Saga

You might remember, back in May, that my trail camera spotted a mother bear and two cubs. One cub was chocolate and the other was black.

One very cool thing was that we watched this mother bear back when she was a yearling cub, separating from her mother. She has distinctively dark leg fur compared to her cinnamon body so I dubbed her "Socks". Her mother has disappeared (since last fall) so it's a consolation that her daughter, Socks, is carrying on the tradition. Female offspring, like Socks, always stay close to where they were born.
After that May sighting, Socks and her cubs were invisible from my trail cameras until August. In early August, a black cub appeared on a trail cam's video, limping very badly. No other bears, like his/her mom or sibling, appeared. You'll see that video as part of the larger video below.

I didn't want everyone else to worry like I was so I didn't share the injured cub video. I also didn't share the photos that I captured of Socks with one cub, the chocolate one, later in August.

 Here, they sniffed a tree together.
And, here, they sniffed another bear marking tree together.
I kept hoping that maybe the little black cub was just outside the view of the camera... but, then, even I started to lose hope in that possibility. I'd captured photos of them at 4 different sites, and the black cub was never with them.

Yesterday, I made a video combining all the trail camera footage of this family, and I ended it by expressing the hope that the little black cub would show up again. He sure looked spunky, despite his injury, in the early August video. I planned to share that video today.

But first, this morning, I decided to go to a popular bear hang-out to make one more check of whether the black cub had showed up. GUESS WHAT!!!! He did. He is still limping but he's weighting his bad limb (back right) a bit, and he wasn't using it at all on August 6. He's a couple of miles from his mom and sibling but he's within his mom's territory. There is still a chance that the family will reunite before they hibernate.

I don't have any great insight about what happened to his limb or how the family got separated. My first guess is always "hit by a car". However, I suppose that a predator or wandering dog could have hurt him. Perhaps he simply couldn't keep up with his mom after his injury, and she lost track of him. Those are all guesses. We'll probably never know what actually happened.

Without further ado, here is the video! If you have trouble viewing it here, you can watch it at Youtube.

I promise to keep you updated on any further glimpses of this family!!!


  1. I sure hope they all get back together.

  2. Great video. I hope they find each other before the cold comes. Poor little guy. There is a mom bison out here walking on 3 legs. I hope she makes it too.

  3. Never give up hope, and I would just want to take him and get that leg all fixed up. Good news he isn't limping so badly, maybe a massive cut on his pads, or he jumped and tore something. Wonderful news, let the family all be together soon.

  4. Hi, great video but I wish the little black bear was with his mom and sibling. Watching him, he didn't seem like it was holding him back-so that's good.
    I hope they find each other again and the Mama takes him back.

  5. It looks like his hip is injured...I, too, hope they reunite before it's time to hibernate!!

  6. Oh no! Poor little black bear! That's so sad! I hope he will be okay!

  7. Was the black cub marking the tree to leave his scent for his mother? It is really fascinating to watch. We are so hoping you will find evidence that they do reunite.

  8. What an amazing view into the bear family!! We too, are hoping they reunite soon!!

  9. Here's hoping the cub will den with the mother and sibling. Despite the limp, he must be managing to forage well for he otherwise looks healthy. I fear his long-term survival is still in question, but who knows? Perhaps a winter hibernation will allow the injuries to heal.

  10. Drama on the trail. So happy the cub seems okay, hopefully, he'll be back with his family soon. paws crossed.

  11. That was a great video. I hope they get back together soon. Hopefully nature will show them the way

  12. Oh sweeties! I sure hopes they get back together soon...I hope they will. I'm keepin' my paws crossed real tight!!!
    Ruby ♥

  13. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the poor little guy.

  14. We sure hope that little one manages to make it and stays with the family.

  15. Great video - so interesting. Sure hope they reunite.

  16. What amazing peaks into the wildlife around you! Fascinating!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  17. so awesome!! We could watch those trail cameras all day
    Lily & Edward

  18. We are keeping our paws crossed that the limping cub finds his family soon.

  19. Fingers crossed for a family reunion!

  20. Poor baby bear. We hope they find each other soon!

  21. i always enjoy seeing your trail cam photos!
    thanks for all your effforts and sharing!

  22. Wonderful movie!! We hope little black cub re-unites with its family too,, and they can all snuggle together for the winter!
    Thank you for sharing!

  23. I teared up watching the black cub in the first video. Hurting so badly, but still going about bear business, even marking the tree. Oh I really hope he is reunited with his family. Animals are so resilient sometimes. They just astound me.


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