Our most dependable Spirit Bear was a twelve year old female. A few years ago she had two white cubs. When we visited her this
year, she had two black cubs. Boars that encounter sows with cubs will sometimes kill the cubs to initiate estrus and breeding. So,
our presence may helped deter some of the large male black bears from coming into the area.
Besides the issue of aggressive male bears and the cubs, black bears are very territorial. Hence, anytime another bear arrived in the
vicinity, we could expect conflict. Sometimes, mama Spirit Bear chased the interloper away.
If a large male bear arrived in the area, mama would send the cubs scampering up a tree. In one instance we watched her climb the
tree after them. In this picture, mama is at least thirty feet high in a tree.
One evening, mama disappeared after a long feeding frenzy. Marven told us that he thought he knew where she was. We quietly
made our way under branches to her sleeping place where she napped while the cubs slept above in a tree.
We then walked around mama and up the river. She was unaffected by our presence. Then, suddenly she stood up and soon ran up
the hill. We had not disturbed her. Rather, it was a large black bear coming up the river that spooked her.
Marven's instructions were to speak softly when we encountered a bear so they would know it was a human rather than another bear.