Could bear den high up in tree have cubs? Glacier National Park says ‘maybe’

Could bear den high up in tree have cubs? Glacier National Park says ‘maybe’

Outdoors

Could bear den high up in tree have cubs? Glacier National Park says ‘maybe’

Glacier National Park has two live webcams aimed at a hollowed-out hole high up in a Cottonwood tree in which a black bear has made its winter den.

The bear was first spotted in the tree on March 23 and has been “sluggishly poking its head out” since, according to the Montana park.

If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the bear on the temporary live-action cameras that refresh every minute. One view is from afar, showing how high the den is. The other is a closeup of the opening to the den.

Observing a bear emerge from hibernation is worth a look, of course, but many people are on cub watch, turning in to see if any offspring appear.

“Could there be cubs in the bear den? Probably not, but maybe!” Glacier National Park wrote on Facebook. “It’s hard to tell the bear’s sex from our distant view and there have been no signs yet that cubs are in the den with the adult.

“Cubs weighing less than half a pound are born in the middle of the winter denning period, usually between mid-January and early February. A mother bear will typically give birth to one to three cubs at a time.

“By the time a mother bear and her cubs are ready to emerge into spring, the cubs typically weigh around five pounds. Young bears grow very quickly and can weigh around 80 pounds by their first birthdays.”

Fortunately, Glacier National Park posted video (at top) of the bear momentarily poking its head out from the hole in the tree, trying to keep its eyes open. Clearly it’s not quite ready to emerge.

“You might hit the snooze button for 10 minutes, but bears can take several weeks to fully emerge from hibernation!” the park wrote.

Stay tuned.

Photos courtesy of Glacier National Park.

Follow David Strege and BNQT Outdoors on Facebook  and Twitter.

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