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Archive for August, 2013

Lenore and her cubs

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Lenore has weaned her cubs at 18 months which is a  year earlier than normal. While people may be upset with Lenore this is not unheard of and does not mean she is a bad mother. As John Kitchin explains below we all need to be careful about putting human values on what is simply part of nature at work.

lenore being pursued

Lenore is following behavioral and physiological ques. Once she has weaned her cubs, at an age she has decided that they are able to fend for themselves, based on their size and gender (female cubs face less threats from older male bears than male cubs). Once she is in oestrus she will pursue a male bear as much as a male will pursue a female, as solitary animals with large home ranges, males and females actively look for mates at this time of year. Any male in the area is a chance to mate and males will guard females that they have already mated with for as long as they can to ensure successful mating.

Lillian and Flora are young bears and they are having to face weaning perhaps even earlier than expected. They are still, two weeks later trying to follow mum around. She ignores them until they  get too close. She has been seen charging them down when they come too near.

Related females will share a home range when food is abundant, so it is possible they will stay in the area for a good while to come, and who knows may even get a little protection later in the year from being near her if they continue to follow her.

What ever may happen is still to be seen. Will she take them back? Not likely but she may tolerate them near her when she has mated. Can they survive? Absolutely they can forage for themselves and have as good a chance of survival as any sub adult weaned a year later.