A familiar rush of water coming down the drain pipe demands its presence, and brings me out of my sleep. Sitting up, I see my three year old at the end of the bed, blinking at me through the dark as he waits for the other “earlier riser” in the house to get the day started. “It’s a rain day”, he whispers gleefully to me.
This mother bear, a sow, is busy eating salmon in preparation for hibernating for the winter. What you can't hear in this picture is the crying and whining the cub is doing in an attempt to get his mother to share her salmon. The mother bear kept on fishing and eating and the cub just kept on whining and crying to wear her down to share the salmon. But, she was not sharing and would only feed herself, waiting patiently for her cub to decide to fish for itself. This cub is a yearling, around 18 months old. It is time for the cub to learn to fish on its own, or it won't survive.
A mother bear has all the responsibility for her cub(s) for around 3 years, after that she will push them out on their own. Their skills to survive have to be well engrained at that point.
What's a good mother?
Guest Blog and Photography by Sarah MacDonald