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Bear Update: Cub attacked by another mother bear

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When I arrived with the morning bear tour at 06:00, no bears were seen in area until 07:37, when Jeanie and single cub were seen again grazing 10 metres from area of attack. Kayley and her yearling son were located 600 metres away.

Over the next two days I searched the area for the second cub but only found broken branches and hair.

On July 6, Jeanie was located in the mountain bike park with both cubs. No apparent injuries were observed on either cub. The cub’s survival is a testament to its durability and instinctive effort to flee and climb from danger.

I did not see the initial encounter between the two neighboring mothers (earlier that evening) that would likely help me fully understand why Kayley became so aggressive to target the cub. I can only surmise that at the time Kayley was without her daughter (possibly confrontation with adult male to engage family break-up and breeding) and possibly stressed when she ran into Jeanie. Even though Jeanie is the larger, dominant bear, Kayley can afford to become more aggressive because she has large offspring that are not as dependent in their second year as Jeanie’s cubs are in their first year.

If you want to learn more about the long-term study of mother black bear behavior in Whistler come to Lost Lake Park at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 for a free outdoor, large screen presentation sponsored by the Whistler Museum and Archives Society.

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