This past weekend, Hubby & I were doing some hiking in Cades Cove and watched a couple startle a mamma bear and three cubs up ahead on the trail. I don’t think either party were aware of each other until the distance between them was much too small. Mama bear started popping her jaws and I suggested the couple back away…she was nervous and she was letting them know it. They did so and the four of us watched as the mamma bear pushed her three toddlers up the hill and deep into the underbrush. I suspect she wanted them safely hidden from the humans on the trail.
As the bears disappeared into the wood we were joined by three photographers. They were geared up and dressed all in camouflage (I almost didn’t see them 😂). We learned they do this every weekend, looking for bears and seeking that perfect shot. As we chatted we saw mamma reemerge sans cubs. She wandered off into the brush in the opposite direction of the hill she had left her cubs on for safe keeping.
We chatted and waited. Surely she would return at some point.
She reemerged from the woods and and stood at the bottom of the hill where she’d left her cubs. As you click through the gallery, in one shot you can see her calling to them. We could hear them answer her from above. She then disappeared back up the hill. A few minutes later she came back down followed by her three kids. The four, reunited, quickly disappeared back into the forest.
It was such a cool and sweet experience to witness (from a safe distance….I had the telephoto lens with me). She was a very good mother and nature is truly amazing.