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Friday, September 18, 2015

Bear Family Update

My trail cameras have captured more photos of the bear family, which is still divided.

One afternoon recently, the chocolate cub entered the frame near a bear marking tree (it's in the center of the photo).
Usually, this cub is interested in the marking trees. However, on this day, he hurried on past it.
His mother, however, was very interested in it. Look at how her fur color is changing as she grows her winter coat. She was almost all cinnamon in the spring, with slightly darker legs than body (hence her name "Socks"). Now she's half cinnamon and half chocolate!
She decided to mark the tree. I've been told that females do the majority of their territorial marking in the time just before hibernation.
You can see that her nipples are still enlarged. Den cams in Minnesota have shown that mothers continue to nurse their yearling cubs during their second winter of hibernation together.

But she didn't stay for long. Soon she was hurrying after her cub.
Sadly, the black injured cub was not with them.

However, the black cub showed up on a trail camera about 0.4 miles from this spot a couple of days later. The camera shoots rapidfire still photos. It looked as if she was using her injured back right paw now. Compared to how she was in earlier videos, this is a huge improvement.
I am confused by the fact that this cub is in such close proximity to her family but she hasn't rejoined them. I am starting to wonder if her mother is not accepting her back into the family. I had one very blurry photo that suggested that she was being chased by something about a week ago. At that time, I knew that her mother was in the area so I wondered if she might be chasing him away.

I've sent inquiries to a couple of bear experts to ask if they've seen scenarios where mother bears won't accept a cub back after a prolonged separation. I haven't received replies yet.

I think that this little black cub, who I believe is a female, can survive based on studies of cubs who lose their mothers to hunting at this time of year. I am so impressed with her spunk and will to survive that I'm going to call her "Braveheart". She has earned that name in her short life.

I long to see this family together again so little Braveheart has a better chance of growing up to be a mother bear in our neck of the woods.


  1. Oh my gosh those little cubbies are so cute, my big sister always calls me a little Kodiak bear cos of how I look and walk. stella rose

  2. I hope the mother takes the cub back! That's so sad! Poor thing!

  3. That poor little one. We hope the Mom reconsiders too.

  4. We do hope Little Braveheart is just doing her own thing and is accepted by her family.

  5. We do hope that the mom will accept little Braveheart back too
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  6. So interesting. I have never found a bear tree on my trails though there are plenty of bears. I love Mama Bear's coloring.

  7. What gorgeous animals! Here's hoping little Braveheart gets reunited with his family...

  8. Braveheart's story is heartbreaking. I am rooting for her!

  9. Poor Braveheart, we hope she can win her mother's heart back and rejoin her family.

    Have a good weekend.

  10. What a beautiful area you live in so full of life!!

    Anne and Ziggy

  11. Those are great pictures. Like a secret window into the deep woods. Hope the family gets back together.

  12. I know little about the interactions between mother and cub but perhaps she left the injured one thinking she was a threat to their safety. If so, I hope the cub's continued improvement will allow the mother to let her rejoin the family. Regardless, I do hope the cub survives the winter and you see her again in Spring.

  13. Reality bear TV is soooooo much better than any TV reality show!! We hope Braveheart is welcomed back into her family too.

  14. We will send positive thoughts for little " Braveheart" to survive too.
    Beautiful photos,,, we just wish they could stay together as a family.

  15. Braveheart, was she thrown out of her family because of her injury, did the mother feel she jeopardised their safety as she was so much slower? I am so happy to know she is still in the area, not limping so much, and " Please let the coming season smile on her". Beautiful colour in the trailcam photo.

  16. We so want Braveheart to be reunited with her mom and sibling.

  17. that must be the christmas bear... cinnamon and chocolate... i can smell it :o)

  18. Oh! Poor Braveheart! I sure hope she reunites with her family soon. Maybe mom caught her doing unbear-like things like playing with bunnies and being a vegetarian. sigh.

  19. I love Wild Dingo's comment about Braveheart, and got a good laugh from it. Cheers, Braveheart, hold your headup high and stick with your family and don't let them push you around.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  20. Oh! I hope Braveheart will make it! I'm pulling for her!!

  21. That’s a very patient observation and documentation! You’re great. By the way, I love the baby bears.


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