This is one of those special moments that seem to happen throughout my bear trips – moments I’ll likely never forget, and what make each trip special and unique.
This young sub adult was feeding on the sedges in the meadow near the lodge. We decided to walk out and get a closer look and to make photographs. To avoid the heat, thanks to Alaska’s crazy hot summer this year, we decided to sit in the shade provided by a nearby “tree island”. Not long after sitting down the young bear started walking towards us, leaving any possible food source behind. That always gets your attention a little bit. The young bear reached the edge of the same tree shadow we were sitting in, and non-nonchalantly laid down in very close proximity to us. Even crossing its paws, which is a sure sign it didn’t feel threatened. The young bear then laid its head on its paws and relaxed, obviously very comfortable in our presence.
Some of my repeat guests immediately started wondering if this wasn’t one of crimps cubs. Crimp is a very popular sow who’s cubs were now on their own for the first time this summer. These are cubs I have watched grow up over the years from spring cubs, to now sub-adults out on their own for the first time. Without a specific marking like their mom’s crimped ear, there is no way of knowing if this really was one of crimps cubs, but given its behavior, I sure like to think so. 🙂
Given Crimps busy activity with the boars this spring, I would say it is very likely she will have another set of spring cubs this upcoming spring, and the amazing cycle will begin again. I’m already looking forward to the spring!