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Friday, June 17, 2022

A Miracle - Tiny the Black Bear Appears at Lab Valley

I've been following the biggest black bear I've seen, who I dubbed "Tiny", for years. I spotted him with a cam near my old home in April. Then, he disappeared from that area. He's an older bear so I began to suspect the worst. 

I said to the Runner that I was so sad because I thought that Tiny might be gone. When I said "gone", I meant dead. Young and hulking male bears have moved into his territory near our old home. They could have fought him and killed him or simply driven him out.

Then, I said the key thing -  "Isn't it odd that a bear who marks trees while sitting down, just like Tiny, has recently arrived near Lab Valley?".  Bells went off in my head. Maybe the bear near Lab Valley was Tiny. I thought that the probability of that was SO low that I didn't even start comparing their images until a full day later.

After staring at videos to compare Tiny near our old home and the new bear near our new home, I concluded that it was Tiny at our new place!!!! He has been here for close to a month, last seen with a sow near a water hole. Can you imagine the sheer luck to have made that happen? There are literally thousands of acres of forest land between our old home and our new one. How did I get so lucky?
Questions abound. Did he get fed up with the crush of people, development, and noise near our old place like I did? His habitat was rapidly diminishing there. Or, does he do this commute every year? I know that he disappeared from our old place every year around the start of June until just before he entered a den in the fall. Maybe he was here in early summer every year.
I am SO filled with gratitude to have this magnificent bear near our new home. It makes it feel even more like home. I wonder how long he'll stay? Time will tell.

Check out the video of him at our old place and our new one.


  1. Hari OM
    TINY!!! Yes, I am convinced also... not just the sitting position but the whole rhythm and style of his marking... poor fellow, though, that hip seems to be really bothering him now. That is a pronounced limp. But what a joy that you have Tiny back on ground - and the cameras to be able to share him with us again! YAM xx

  2. That is wonderful. I agree that's Tiny, he's got that hitch in his left step, and the way he marks the trees. I hope he's decided to permanently join you in Lab valley!

  3. Obviously, he missed you and your family. I"m so happy that he's back!

  4. Wahoo!!!! I am so happy to read(and see) that Tiny has made the trek to Lab Valley!

  5. The way he walks, the way he sits, his size, this has to be TINY.I see some cut logs in one scene, maybe workers were too close for his safety and comfort. Greatest news for some time, and that special little pond just made for him and his lady.

  6. I hope he stays and has lots of babies. he looks wonderful except for his old limp. I hope it is healed just healed limping. he is so beautiful and big and wonderful

  7. We're also stunned and so happy for this discovery! We can't wait to see more videos of Tiny's summer exploits.

  8. How very sweet that Tiny tracked you down, he missed you too!

  9. He looks so sweet. Looks like he's limping though :(

  10. That is fantastic. Maybe he is following you, like Goldilocks in reverse.

  11. It's always wonderful to watch your videos of bears sloshing around in the water and rubbing their back against a tree. But especially wonderful that it really does seem to be your old friend Tiny. I'm wondering how far in distance he would have travelled?
    Cheers, Gail.

  12. What joy to realize your old friend is still close by. Love it! 🐻

  13. What a joyful surprise! Stunned is the right word.

    Chris from Boise

  14. Do I see a bit of a limp with his back right leg? I seem to recall he hurt one of his paws a few years ago.
    What a joy to see your old friend
    Hugs Cecilia


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