Big Day with the Group - UPDATE July 10, 2017

Lily and 3 cubs, Lucy, Ethel, Donna and 3 cubs, Shadow, and more; plus a walk to the deep rock den and a pontoon ride, etc.  Lily and yearling standoffLily and yearling standoffOn top of all that were calls from CNN and ABC World News.  It’s nap time.

A highlight was a call that Lily was seen and the direction she was heading.  We knew where to look and all piled into the van.  Then came the expected call from the destination saying Lily and cubs had just arrived.  We were on our way.  We arrived to find her cubs barely visible in the tops of two trees and a yearling treed in a third.  The brave yearling tried to descend, but Lily went up after her.  The yearling climbed high and Lily was content to rest on a lower branch.  Lily after yearlingLily after yearlingLily descended, and the yearling shortly started to do the same.  Lily was up the tree in a flash but stopped short.  The scene repeated with Lily overtaking the yearling on the way up.  They exchanged loud words (the pulsing sound they use in high intensity situations, including fighting), but Lily never touched her.  Lily descended and moved off a little.  The yearling saw the opportunity, descended and leapt far away from the trunk when still 5 feet above the ground.  Lily was close behind as the yearling tore off into the woods, but (from the sounds) never touched her.  Lily returned and patrolled the area ignoring the yearling that boldly returned and even did stomp-walking to scent-mark the area.  Lily patrolled the surrounding woods, returned, and went after the yearling one last time as it ran into the woods.  They both stopped a little ways into the woods about 40 feet apart.  After that, it seemed the yearling’s persistence paid off.  She returned.  The two stayed about 40 feet apart but seemed to ignore each other although both were likely well aware of the other’s moves.  Lily turned to patrolling the area for other bears.

Then a call came to see Shadow.  There, Shadow showed us her cautious ways that has helped her survive over 30 years.

Each bear we saw today revealed something different about bear personalities.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center