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Old Sep 21, 2010, 11:48 AM   #1
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Default Bear Quintuplets

FYI - Once in a lifetime photos © (shareable) by Tom Sears, from an email (wish these were mine):

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Black bears typically have two cubs; rarely, one or three. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire , a black bear Sow gave birth to five healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as many as 4 cubs, but five was, and is, very extraordinary.

I learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set myself a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom - no matter how much time and effort was involved. I knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dark.

After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week, for more than six weeks, I had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and photographed them.

I used the equivalent of a very fast film speed on my digital camera.

The print is properly focused and well exposed, with all six bears posing as if they were in a studio for a family portrait.

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I stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. As time for hibernation approached, I found still more folks who had seen them, and everything remained O K . I stayed away from the bears as I was concerned that they might become habituated to me, or to people in general, and treat them as `approachable friends´. This could easily become dangerous for both man and animal.

After Halloween, I received no further reports and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated.

This spring, just before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered all over the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2007.

I saw them before mid-April and dreamed nightly of taking another family portrait, a highly improbable second once-in-a-lifetime photograph.

On 25 April 2008, I achieved my dream.

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When something as magical as this happens between man and animal, Native Americans say, "We have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow". And so it is with humility and great pleasure that I share these exhilarating photos with you. Do pass them on!
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Last edited by penolta; Sep 21, 2010 at 11:52 AM.
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Old Sep 21, 2010, 1:08 PM   #2
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When I was 16, my father and I were camping in Shenandoah Nat'l Park. We were coming back from someplace and it was starting to get dark. We were on the Skyline Drive and came around a bend, when we saw what appeared to be a large pile of boulders in the middle of the roadway. My father stopped the car and waited. Soon, the big boulder in the center raised its head, looked straight at us and stood up. Then, the four smaller boulders all turned to look at us. The large boulder lumbered off into the woods, with the smaller boulders following close behind.

By the time I figured out what was happening, it was too late for me to grab my camera, and it was too dark anyway.

Thanks for reminding me of that.
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Old Sep 22, 2010, 2:27 AM   #3
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Yeap! Once in a life time shots there but twice man you got it down... reminds me of going up in the Sultan Basin for a drive back when Luke my son..was a toddler he is now hitting 18 ... I asked why we were going up to the Basin?

Driver of my Bronco at the time said to me that he don't know maybe we will see a bares ass.. We went along just four wheeling around he use to ride allover the place on bike he knew where he was even thought he got side tracked... We soon got out his runt and were heading back down. Sure enough right before the dam rambling across the road was a nice red coat Grizzly. That bear was so big in front of the bronco all I really seen of him was the back pads of his paws.

I sure wish I could share that shot that I took with my human eyes but its implanted for ever in my memory.
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 8:07 AM   #4
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Those are some great shots, I have never seen a bear with more than three cubs around here and we have lots of bears.

They are usually in the open for only a few seconds while they cross the road, or from a great distance at the end of an open field. Even then the shots would have to be taken from inside a vehicle since our bears are not people friendly like the ones you see in parks like Yellowstone.

To most people these shots are of a cute family, to me I see a crew that could do a lot of damage wandering around looking for food.

Tom
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Old Oct 2, 2010, 7:35 PM   #5
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Thank you for sharing this story. It truely is an amazing site. They all look healthy and happy. ( Not that I can discern a happy bear from an unhappy one)

Thanks again. I really enjoyed seeing those shots.

Steve
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