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Monday, August 8, 2016

Our Bear Family - A cub rescue by Mom

I captured video the other day showing just how well our bear cub family is doing now. Mom looks fat and healthy, and the cubs are huge! It's so much fun to have followed them from the day of their birth until now.

Today, I'm sharing a bit more of the footage from the den. This footage was from 4/25/16. The cubs had stayed up the entire previous night playing in the den. By 5AM, they were outside the den again, playing and exploring. Just in case I have any sticklers for detail reading this, please note that all times are Standard Time because I couldn't go to the cams to change the time when we switched to DST. That's why it was light at 5 AM (MST).

The cubs were trying to expand their world, venturing further from the den entrance by climbing on the piles of fallen trees all around their den. When my friend and I visited to the den for the last time in March, we guessed that the cubs would start going above the den so we placed a trail cam there. It captured the panic of the little black female cub when she wasn't sure how to get down to the den entrance.

During this mini-crisis, you'll be able to hear both cubs screaming (the chocolate one was hanging onto his mom's leg during the rescue) and you'll be able to hear the soft grunts of their mom, trying to verbally calm them.

Getting a glimpse into such intimate bear family life is a gift. After you see how mom nurtured and protected her cubs from the beginning, you can understand why she stands her ground against all threats to her cubs later in the summer. One summer, this same sow ("Mabel") bluff charged me numerous times when I accidentally rode into the middle of the family. She escorted me away from the tree where the cubs were stashed, while bluff charging me at least 10 times, slapping her front paws on the ground, and snorting. I knew that I'd be fine as long as I walked calmly away from the cubs - which I did!

Here's the video of the cub rescue way back on 4/25/16, when the family was still living in and around the den. You can watch it here or at Youtube.
Tomorrow, I hope to show you footage of the family from a few days ago. At first, I thought that the cubs were yearlings because they have suddenly grown so fast! It makes me smile!


  1. What amazing footage. I didn't realize you had 2 cameras on the den.

  2. Fabulous editing to get first the lower cam then the top one, super Mum to be so diligent. They all look so well fed, and I wonder what adventures will be next.

  3. This was total awsome! You really captured a gem!

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  5. What great footage...those cubs are adorable (and feisty)! Great job of Mama saving her little one!

  6. This is just incredible! What a wonderful bear family and such a patient loving mama.

  7. BRAVO! that was so interesting to watch... and I send a hug (just virtually lol) to the bear-mom...

  8. I love the look on the mothers face, as in oh for petes sake. so glad they are doing well and the fire did not harm them

  9. I love this. What a good momma she is.

  10. Oh my goodness they are precious. Playing just like little kids
    Lily & Edward

  11. That is so amazing! Can I please show this to my first graders this fall when we study habitats? I won't show it without permission. Thank you.

  12. Such a very good Mama Bear. We love watching all that you can show us, the more, the better:) They make us smile too.

  13. How amazing! I swear it sounded like that cub was Yelling "ma!". And getting charged even once would scare the bejeebies out of our mom!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  14. That was really most amazing!

  15. What a sight! I wish all bear "hunters" were made to watch some footage like this. Perhaps they would think twice about why they need to kill such animals.

  16. Wow, that was amazing! Oh, those cute and cuddly cubs. Love the sounds.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge and Staff

  17. we will say it too - just amazing!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  18. Great footage. Your close up shots of mom and cubs, and explanations of bear behavior are very informative. So much to learn from the videos. The cams of Katmai bears are also interesting, however you provide more immediate feedback to the viewer. I also appreciate your stewardship of the land and the wildlife in the hills surrounding Boulder. Stay safe out there!

  19. I love a happy ending :)
    That little black cub KNEW she could get there and could ALMOST make it! Just kept getting pulled back by gravity and her weighted bottom...I understand her frustration completely ;)


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