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Black Mama

black bear

She’s a single mom, Black Mama is, with two kids who nearly drive her crazy.  But she’s hard-wired for the job.

She knows from experience which meadows are best for foraging.

black bear

Her keen nose can sniff out danger.

black bear

Her sharp claws and powerful jaws can intimidate intruders.

black bear

Yes, sometimes she gets that universal look of exasperation…

black bear

But in the still of the evening when the kids are tucked away she quietly renews her resolve for the morrow.

black bear

The Twins

Black Mama has two cinnamon-colored cubs.  They like to climb trees, and you can tell by the look in their eyes that they can be mischievous.

bear cubs

Sometimes they fight.

bear cubs

Sometimes they make up.

bear cubs

“Wait a minute, Sis’ – let me show you something!”

bear cubs

“You better stay here, I’ll tell Mama!”

“Outta my way.  I can shimmy down this tree faster than you can!”

bear cubsbear cubsUh, oh, he thought to himself.  Me and my big mouth!

bear cubSecretly she hoped her brother would fall.  She sat and watched and stuck her tongue out at him, waiting to say, “I told you so!”

bear cub

But Lil’ Bear brushed aside his fears and plunged straight down.

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bear cub

When he reached the ground Lil’ Brother breathed a sigh of relief and climbed up on a log to gloat.

bear cub

Sis’ had nothing to say.  She began to make her own way down the tree, although much more cautiously.

bear cub

The American Black Bear

Despite their name, black bears (Ursus americanus) show a great deal of color variation. Individual coat colors can range from white, blond, cinnamon, or light brown to dark chocolate brown or to jet black, with many intermediate variations existing.

But how can that be, you ask? How can two black bears produce the cute little cinnamon cubs we just saw climbing a tree?

:) Here’s how :)

bears matingbears matingbears matingbears mating :) :) :) :) :) :)

I watched this mating encounter on June 21st. Black bears are delayed implanters. Implantation of the fertilized egg usually occurs during early December, with gestation requiring six weeks.

FAQ’s on black bears can be found HERE.