Grizzly bear cubs are born in the den in January or February. Cubs weigh 500 grams (1 lb.) which is less one-tenth as much as human babies and are born blind. Once they have left the womb, the find their way to their mother’s teats where they feed on milk (and grow) until the spring. This photo from early June means the cub is likely less than five months old. The male Grizzly bear’s hibernation ends in early to mid March, while females emerge in April or early May. Although this cub may have been out of the den for little more than one month and is still nursing we observed it eating solid foods.
Grizzly bear viewing from the lodge on Minstrel Island requires run up Knight Inlet to the Glendale River estuary. Once we arrive we transfer to sixteen-foot flat bottom skiff which allows us to travel in very shallow water. Being able to move in shallow water means that your guide can leave the skiff and manoeuvre the boat by walking along side. This permits us to move up the river at a low tide where as using a motor we would need to wait longer and the bears would have left the estuary. As I recall this picture is an example were a grizzly came to investigate and we slowly backed down river until curiosity was satisfied. No we were not in danger as any loud noise such as banging an oar on the metal boat and the bear would have left immediately. The bears we view have come to accept our presence and do not show aggression only curiosity.
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