A Face-to-Face Encounter in Black Bear Habitat

David Peterson spends the afternoon in the presence of black bears, sharing information on black bear habitat, black bear species, it's history and habits.


| May/June 1986


David Peterson spent the afternoon surrounded by a family of black bears, enthralled by their presence yet fearful for his safety. 

A Face-to-Face Encounter in Black Bear Habitat

I was slipping quietly through the white heart of a park-like grove of quaking aspen when a roundish bundle of chocolate fur emerged from a thicket of Gambel oak a few yards to my left and came waddling my way. The creature appeared to be neither canine, feline, nor bovine, and though it was about the size of a large badger, the shape and coloration were wrong.

What it was, I soon saw, was a black bear cub, its chubby body swaying from side to side like a ship in heavy seas as it bobbed along atop stubby, bowed legs.

Then, just a few seconds in the wake of the first, a second cub burst from the brush . . . and a third from the black bear habitat. And all three of the little rascals were headed right for me, with the intrepid leader now just a few feet away.

I was thrilled — though somewhat distracted by a most pressing curiosity: Where is Momma bear, and how big is she?

The matron didn't keep me waiting long, making her entrance from the black bear habitat a few moments later from behind a curtain of aspen saplings a score or so yards uphill and, fortunately, upwind. Hump-shouldered and autumn fat, the mother bear was by far the most beautiful specimen of Ursus americanus I'd ever seen, more closely resembling a small grizzly than your typical, postcard-variety black bear. Most significantly, she wasn't black. Her head, legs, and ample rump were patched with the same chocolate brown that completely clothed the cubs, but her back was a broad swath of straw blond that took on a mottled appearance as she moved through the scattered shafts of golden sunlight fingering down through the aspens.





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265