Young Brown Bears Playing in the Surf

When Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) cubs reach the age of 2-3, they are displaced by their mom, to live on their own. When the juvenile bears are displaced, they tend to act quite lonely and often seek out the companionship of another young bear. This can be a sibling that has also been displaced, or it can be another displaced youngster that is from a different mom. These young pairs will often pair up for the first year on their own, making the displacement less stressful on themselves. Young bears that pair up can be a real goldmine to nature photographers; they seem to constantly play! As a perfect example, there was one pair of young brown bears that we saw every time we went into the field during my recent trip to Hallo Bay. I ended up capturing several play sessions, so I’ll likely be posting their playfighting several times.

On our first in-the-field journey, we walked the beachline to the mouth of Clint’s Creek. Clint’s Creek is the creek where salmon enter (from the ocean) to travel upstream to reach their spawning grounds. As we hiked out, the tide was very low. With the tide so low, some of the bears were actually in the surf of the ocean, catching salmon as they headed towards the mouth of Clint’s Creek. After successfully catching several salmon, this pair of young bears decided it was again time to play. In this first image, the 2 bears are seen approaching each other:

Brown Bears approach to play

 

As they near each other, the play begins … with a gently slap by the darker bear!

Young Brown Bears playing

Young Brown Bears playing

 

The lighter bear then slaps back:

 

Young Brown Bears playing

 

And the roughhousing is officially in process!

Young Brown Bears playing

Young Brown Bears playing

 

Within a few minutes, the playing was done and it was time to get back to fishing:

Young Brown Bears playing

 

I guarantee you will see these 2 bears again, before the Hallo Bay posts conclude! They were such a great pair of bears … colorful, plump and full of play! They gave us some wonderful experiences :o)

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Posted in 2012, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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