Grizzly Bear Nursing her Cubs
Grizzly bear mothers most often nurse their cubs lying down on their backs. A grizzly bear mother will usually keep her head lifted to scan the scene for any potential dangers. I took this photo sitting nearby in the grass. The grizzly bear mother was perfectly comfortable with us nearby since she has learned that humans do not hunt grizzlies in this area (Katmai National Park where hunting is prohibited). In fact many grizzly bear mothers in Katmai feel more comfortable close to humans. They have learned that some grizzly bear males (who could harm cubs) will be hesitant to approach human bear viewers. This is an example of grizzly bears’ sophisticated social intelligence.