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RC Comfort Nursing and Then a Mystery - UPDATE May 14, 2021  

On the evening of May 10, RC’s four yearlings were up white pines and she was sitting quietly at the base when she suddenly tore off after a bear that approached too closely. RC and yearlings May 10RC and yearlings on May 10, 2021RC has always been the most aggressive mother we know. She then calmly returned and offered a session of comfort nursing (no milk) that the cubs all came down to be part of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAD1AySz91E.

Over the next two days, they were all seen together three times through 6:30 AM on the 12th. But that evening at 8:50 PM only two were with her. Where were the other two? Had they stayed up a tree when RC said it was time to move on? Had they become a bit independent as yearlings sometimes do when the time of break-up approaches? She seemed fine with the two that were with her, and she was her same old defensive self, running off a nearby bear and chasing him deep into the woods. At 9 PM, she calmly returned and led them off. We know family break-up will be soon. Did she leave us with another incomplete story of how it happens? None of them have been seen in the last two days. We treasure the opportunities bears have given us to see the whole process of family break-up.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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