Cubs Everywhere and Making More - UPDATE May 30, 2019

Previously, we reported 7-year-old Fern having one small cub and Valentine having two. SamanthaSamantha

Today, we learned that two more mothers showed up with cubs last evening—10-year-old Star with three and 10-year-old Summer with three. Summer lost her two cubs of last year and evidently mated again.

Along the way, we heard of three litters of four being seen. Two of those sightings were only 1.4 miles apart and in the area we believe sweet Samantha lives—in part of her 17-year-old mother Braveheart’s old territory now that Braveheart has shifted more east. Then, about 7:30 PM this evening, we saw her—lactating, no cubs in sight. She had four cubs in 2016, and was due to have cubs in 2018. Now, she does. We suspect she is one of the mothers with four.

I wish the Black Bear Field Study Courses were going on right now with all the excitement in the neighborhood. People are watching to learn the sexes of the cubs. But by the time the courses start, mothers will be bringing their cubs in with them and not leaving them off in trees.

Mothers who are also due for cubs this year are Donna, Braveheart, Shannon, Lily, Wendy, Daisy, and Ellie—in addition to young clan females that might have their first litters this year.

It’s an exciting year with more excitement reported today of mating—something unusual to go in the book. One of the feeders reported having 5 males and three females with all the males getting along fine, playing with each other and two of them courting and mating with the same female. It’s like we have found with family breakup—things happen in many ways. An additional bear at that same feeding site is battered old Victor that I wouldn't think would stand for competition.

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