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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bears (Ursus americanus)

Shortly after we began the descent to the valley floor along the switchback road pictured above, the bear and cub to the left were sighted. Mother bears with cubs are notoriously dangerous so while I was tempted to get closer I was also more than conscious of how fast bears can run. When we first saw them they were already on the move up the slope. Then the mother paused and looked back at us while waiting for the cub to catch up. When he had bounced up the hill past her she moved into cover off to the left. I didn't attempt to follow her. (Reader Carolyn from Haida Gwaii kindly posted a video link of a similar encounter with bears in British Columbia north of here, though the bears in the video are the rather more aggressive Grizzly Bears. Click HERE to see the video.) I suspect the bears I saw were American Black Bears (Ursus americanus), though the distinctions between Black and Brown Bears are quite subtle. The valley in the above photo is the Similkameen Valley near Hedley, British Columbia.

6 comments:

JoJo said...

I think I'd need some dramamine to deal w/ that road. The bears are just so adorable!!! They remind me of my German shepherd!

Dean Lewis said...

Like that expression "more than conscious how fast bears can run'.
I might be 'so conscious' that I would need to change my underwear. LOL

Leeds daily photo - Paul said...

Great pictures Benjamin. I would love to see truly wild bears, with or without my camera.

Carolyn said...

Great photos Benjamin and a very wise choice in light of the other photographers encounter with a grizzly earlier this week!!!
http://www.cbc.ca/video/player.html?category=News&zone=canada&site=cbc.news.ca&clipid=1526488447

Smiles

Benjamin Madison said...

JoJo - yes, me too. As well as ursaphobia I have a healthy dose of vertigo and all the way down that road I was NOT looking out the side window at the drop-off...

Paul - yes it was a real thrill, especially since I had been looking forward to seeing some wild bears on this trip.

Dean, the video that Carolyn provided a link for perfectly illustrates my expectations when I was standing on that hillside trying to hold my camera steady.

Thanks for the kind words and the very apt link, Carolyn

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I love the look of that switchback road - better for the passanger than the driver though.