Shenandoah Mother Black Bear

Shenandoah Mother Black Bear

I rode up to the Shenandoah National Park in hopes of photographing a black bear. About thirteen miles into the park I saw a bear cub run up and over a hill. Knowing where there is a cub there is the much larger mother and she would be determined to protect her cubs. I got out of the truck at the base of an about ten foot incline where the cub had been seen. Very cautiously I started up the short incline when about half way up the mother peeked over the hill at me seven or eight feet from me…I thought she was going to charge but instead she stood her ground and started this licking the air thing like a dog being scratched in a really good spot. Stunned by her reaction I just stood there and watched as she continued this licking of the air…should I scratch her belly?…should I run? Suddenly, and I don’t know why…I think it’s because I have a death wish, I stomped my foot and she reared up and ran into the woods as her two cubs took to the trees she stopped and watched me. It was too dark at 6:15am to see the cubs in the trees and almost to dark to get a shot of the mother as I shook trying different settings on my camera until I got this shot. A big bear that close wouldn’t have frightened me near as much if it weren’t a mother with cubs and someone else would have been with me! Want to go with me next time? 🙂

© 2010 D L Ennis, All rights reserved.

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