An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Tolerant Black Bear Mothers

3-28-17 black bears playing 1368

The yearlings continually challenge their mother’s patience as well as each other’s to see just how much will be tolerated. They climb on, bite, claw and test their mother in much the same manner as toddlers do their (human) mothers. At the same time, when she demands that they follow her instructions, such as climbing a tree when danger approaches, they immediately obey. (Photo: mother bear (lying down) indulging her playful yearling)

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11 responses

  1. Tom Jones

    Dearest Mary – these bear posts of the last 2 days are absolutely wonderful & so special to me. Thanks, as always, very much for your great work, skills, & passion. Tom Jones, Goffstown, NH

    March 28, 2018 at 7:16 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    Hopefully no nibbles with that set of teeth!

    March 28, 2018 at 7:25 am

  3. What a lovely special moment you have captured Mary. I thank you for your patience in doing this. It is nice to see this Mother raising her cubs in the solitude of their ‘home’. I really do appreciate and love your work. Thanks again.

    March 28, 2018 at 8:34 am

  4. Peter

    How close are you when the pictures are taken?

    March 28, 2018 at 8:49 am

  5. Randall Perkins

    incredible photos of bears! great way to begin my day, thank you!

    March 28, 2018 at 10:06 am

  6. We once watched a big mama Barren Grounds grizzly “encouraging” her cubs to beat it. They cried like babies. I’ll tell you about it when next we meet – if we do. Congratulations on the new books!

    March 28, 2018 at 10:39 am


    That tree looks huge, even for an older white pine. Would love to hear its approximate diameter, and some information on the size of the mother bear.

    March 28, 2018 at 2:14 pm

  8. Sharon Parker

    Are bear out of hibernation this spring?

    March 29, 2018 at 7:40 am

    • Yes, they have been seen in Vermont already.

      March 29, 2018 at 12:13 pm

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