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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Bearly Thanksgiving

This was one of the last photos I captured of a bear this fall. She is so fat that she looks pregnant! Bears don't actually become pregnant before they're in their dens so her big belly is fat. The fertilized eggs from mating season back in May and June remain in suspended animation throughout the summer. They implant in the uterus early in hibernation only if the sow is fat and healthy enough to support cubs.
This looks like a young sow based on her height but she looks fat enough to have cubs this winter! In this photo, she's carefully sniffing a bear marking tree.
She didn't mark the tree and moved along heading generally west.

Two days later, a similarly short sow marked a tree a few miles to the east of the one shown in the first photo. I know that this second series of photos is of "Dot", a young sow who seems to be taking over the territory of our matriarch bear who disappeared over last winter. In all likelihood, Dot is a daughter of that sow.

She was very intent on marking the tree thoroughly.

After marking it, she turned around and sniffed it. She sure has a healthy shape for a bear about to hibernate!
And that was the last bear sighting so far this fall/winter. Usually, females go to dens first. I suspect that Dot went into a den soon after her tree marking on 10/29. However, male bears usually stay out for at least another month after the females. Consequently, I am still hoping to capture photos of Tiny or other males as they head to dens.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for our bears. They fascinate and amuse me all summer long. I hope that "our" local bears have a safe winter, and that we see them again in the spring. And I'd be super thankful if they had cubs with them when we see them again!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! Those bears are so strong and beautiful!
    Cam and Maggie

  2. Nice to see such healthy-looking bears as we go into the Big Cold! And wow, those furry pantaloons on the first sow!
    I haven't seen a single bear this Autumn, but I know they're out there. With the moose. All growing dense coats, as are my gang o goats. When Vinca hops up on the stanchion to have her daily bucket, she's at just the right height for a hug - and on a cold morning, it's hard to resist! So I don't :)

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the Runner and to R and Shyla, KB!

  4. So cool to be able to see all these beautiful animals. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  5. OMD, she is lookin' FABulous! All set for a long winters slumber...Ma says I have enough fats to do that if I wanted! BOL!!!!!
    Have a FABulous Thanksgiving guys!!!!
    Ruby ♥

  6. We are also thankful for your bears, along with the other wildlife you share through out the year!

  7. So interesting to learn that about female bears. Glad it isn't that way with human moms:)

    We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving Day.

  8. I didn't know that about bears -- That's really interesting to know, and I will hope for cubs for this full-figured gal! :-) I also hope you have an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

  9. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the Runner and the Duo. Love the bears.

  10. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, those bears look so healthy, plenty of fat to help them winter over. Hugs to you for this week.

  11. That is so good to see them all fat and happy like that.

  12. So, she's a plus sized bear huh? Love the stuff those trail cams catch!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  13. Those bears are nice and fluffy I would say!


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