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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:09 AM   #1
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This morning prior to talking a walk I decided to check the bird feeders at the back of the house--there had been unusual noise but not workmen at the home building site behind us. All the bird feeders were on the ground:
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:13 AM   #2
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Twin bear cubs (who had learned well what to do from their mom) rapidly climbed the tallest tree when they saw me, almost as startled as they were. The mom ran away a safe distance and called from the cubs to follow but they wouldn't budge.
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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Mom began to make bear distress noises and gradually came to the tree and verified it was the correct one by sniffing and looking up at the cubs.

She climbed to the top of the tree, too, and all three are still up there. No apology for blurred and poorly exposed photos--the models were not cooperative at all and the lighting was all wrong. Better a blurry black bear than no shots at all!
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:50 AM   #4
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After we all had relaxed a while (bears in the tree, I in the house) I heard the sound of bear claws on pine bark--they were coming down from the tree. Here is the first cub to find the ground:
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:52 AM   #5
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And the second cub made his way down; that's one small step for bear...
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:56 AM   #6
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The threesome heads down hill with a don't you dare follow us look. They'll be back as soon as the bird feeders are up again, with the dedication of an annoying but cute 300 pound squirrel.
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 12:21 PM   #7
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That's life -nature doesn't always behave withthe photographer in mind. You take what you get if you want to record the event, and you documented it nicely. Thanks for posting them.
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 1:10 PM   #8
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Wow. Running into a momma bear with cubs can potentially turn into a very dangerous situation. Glad everything turned out ok. Nice pics btw.

- Hung
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 1:34 PM   #9
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you are very lucky she ran away and not at you, since there is nothing in the woods more dangerous than a mother bear that thinks her cubs are in danger. A mother bear and her cubs is just a time bomb waiting to go off.

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Old Jun 28, 2007, 2:42 PM   #10
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royce10 and ennacac,

The black bears here are docile and their aggressiveness highly exaggerated with the one exception you point out--getting between mother and cubs is not a good idea--even then, this momma bear ran away initially and her cubs did as she had taught and went up a tree. From the sounds she was making I knew she was stressing over it and I went inside so she could retrieve her cubs.

Bear/human sightings are so common here, and untoward bear behavior so rare, that I have not heard of any adverse interaction in many years. The ones which visit frequently get used to us talking to them and settle down quickly for photo ops. If they begin to get stressed they do exhibit signs of it.

This black bear momma was not a known bear to us so we'll have to get to know one another. Any other variety of bear I would avoid if I happened to see it first! (Remind me to tell you about the one I chased out of another house.)
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