Bears are extraordinarily intelligent animals. They have far superior navigation skills to humans; excellent memories; large brain to body ratio; and use tools in various contexts from play to hunting.
Bears grieve deeply for others. Cubs are known to moan and cry when separated from theirmothers.This can go on for weeks if their mothers are killed by hunters.
Bears care deeply about family members. They will risk their lives and even fight to the death in order to save a cub or sibling from danger.
Grizzly cubs run to their mothers for protection, while black bear cubs run for trees. Attacks by defensive mothers account for 70 percent of human deaths from grizzly bears, but mother black bears are not known to have killed anyone in defense of cubs. The idea that black bear mothers are likely to attack is one of the biggest misconceptions about black bears.
Mother bear sighted another Bear at the distance, look back at her cubs to warn them to keep and stay closer at her. Her cub then anxiously look at the other bear.
Grizzly bears are normally solitary animals. However, they are not very territorial and they may be seen feeding together where food is abundant, such as at salmon streams and whitebark pine sites. Females will rear their cubs for 2-3 years. When a female grizzly bear leaves her mother, they often set up their home range quite close to their mother’s home range. Males will typically range further, but may also remain close by.
Mother bears rear cubs for two to three years. Males do not help raise the cubs. In fact, males can be a danger to the cubs, so females often avoid male grizzly bears while rearing their cubs.
The cubs are tirelessly playing with each other, and sometimes watch and learn too what their Mom is doing
Are grizzlies dangerous? They would rather issue threats and posture than engage in actual conflict. Human attacks are rare. When endangered they can attack with much ferocity, for example when a mother defends her cubs.
Black bears have a lumbering walk, but they can run much faster than people. They have been known to run faster than 40-55 kilometers per hour (over 25 miles per hour) for short distances. (Grizzlies run faster than black bears, but black bears can climb trees to escape grizzlies.)
Both, Grizzly bears and black bears don’t like surprises. When out in the woods try to be loud, sing a camp song, attach a small tinkling bell on your belt, make LOTS of noise. It’s wise not to explore dark, unknown caves or hollow logs, as these are prime spots to come across grizzly bears.
If you have been spotted by a bear, stop and don’t move. Speak to the bear in a low calm voice and slowly raise your arms in the air, making you appear bigger. Tuck away the camera and leave this to a professional. If you see a bear with a cub, leave quickly. Mother bear’s number one priority will be protecting her cubs, leaving little room for negotiation if she feels threatened. Back off nice and slowly, retrace your footsteps, avoid crossing the path of the bear. Do not run, you won’t be able to outrun him! Don’t look the bear in the eye!
Photos on this post were taken at Lake Clark National park, Alaska. It was a great opportunity to capture stunning images of these grizzly bears in their natural habitat while enjoying the picturesque settings of the Alaskan wilderness. Throughout the course of my grizzly bear tour, we have the opportunity to capture behaviors like:,Grizzly bear sows nursing their young, Grizzly bear cubs frolicking and playing in grassy meadows, Bears charging through the water and plucking fish out of Silver Salmon Creek, Hungry grizzly bears digging for razor clams in tidal flats along the fertile coastlines of the Cook Inlet, Cute bear cubs playing with their siblings, Grizzly bears fighting and playful attacks, Cubs napping curled up with mom and so many more. There are instances where we got so very close to the bear like 1 or 2 meters away. It was a great trip being so close and photograph the grizzlies.