I realize we just posted some bear pictures a couple weeks ago, but we can’t help it, we just love the black bears! So as an excuse to post some more pictures, we present to you this article about bear cubs, thick with extremely cute photos of them! Some are from our bear photo contests, some from our cleaners, and some from others of us here in the office!
Bear cubs are born usually in January, in the middle of the hibernation season. Newborns are smaller, relative to their mother’s size, than any other placental mammal. They are totally dependant on their mother at birth, having little hair to keep them warm, and their legs being too weak to even walk. Their mother tucks them under her body, conveniently placing them in a good position for nursing, and tucks her head under in the front so even her breath will offer added warmth to body heat. The litter of 2 to 4 cubs will not hibernate or sleep much, but will keep feeding pretty much continually keeping a high metabolism for optimal growth. Because she has young to care for, the mother will not get much of a hibernation either, but will sleep lightly so that she can still respond to the needs of her cubs. The cubs mouth are shaped specifically for nursing, since milk is the only food they get. When nursing, they make a small humming noise that lets the mother know not to change position, that her cubs are nursing contentedly.
Within a month, February, the bear cubs’ fur has grown to about an inch in length and they are starting to open their eyes. By March their fur is longer than an inch and their legs are stronger, as they start to explore the den. By April they can weigh up to about 10 lbs each.
Cubs usually stay with their mothers for 1.5 to 2 years. During this time, the mothers wean their young from milk to solid food, and teach them to find food and survive in the wild.
This blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.