Brown Bear Sow and Cub

Brown Bear Sow and Cub

Of the many great memories from my Alaska adventure, my fondest involves a brown bear sow and her three year old cub. As our group came to a clearing overlooking a small pool, at the junction of two rivers, we found several bears splashing through the river in pursuit of salmon.

On the opposite bank of the narrow river, a sow and its cub cautiously approached the pool and continued up to the elevated safety of a large uprooted tree. The sow’s caution was warranted because there were several large boars in the area, which will kill cubs. Occasionally, the sow would venture off its perch with its cub in tow to fish, before promptly returning to their refuge atop of the fallen tree to eat. Every time a boar would patrol the river, in the vicinity of the pair, the cub would lean in tight to its mother and peer over her back.

During one patrol, a boar took an interest in the pair and began to approach until the sow stood, shielding its cub and let loose a roar that sent a chill down my spine. The boar wisely moved on in a search of easier prey, much to my relief. The sense of peril for the cub, followed by the protective actions of a loving mother, willing to put herself in danger, made this the most special of the many experiences I had on this trip.