Bear Triplets

Bear Triplets

Bear Triplets, photo by Ross Ellet

I feel like the one on the left says everything I have to say about snow, cold and Winter. Here’s three facts from the DNR’s Michigan Black Bear Facts page – click through for more:

What is the status of black bear in Michigan?

Approximately 15,000 – 19,000 black bears (including cubs) roam the hardwood and conifer forests of northern Michigan. About 90 percent of the bear live in the Upper Peninsula, while the remaining ten percent are mainly found in the northern Lower Peninsula. However, it is becoming increasingly common to see bear in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula. …

When do bear breed?

Breeding takes place in June and July and cubs are born in early January while females are in dens. A litter may consist of one to four cubs, with two or three cubs being most common. An adult female bear usually breeds every other year, but may mate in consecutive years if cubs are lost before mid summer. A female bear will generally breed for the first time at 2’/z years of age in the northern Lower Peninsula, and at 3’/2 years of age in the Upper Peninsula.

What are bear cubs like?

At birth, bear cubs weigh less than one pound, but mother’s rich milk helps them grow quickly. Mother and cubs emerge from the den in spring, with the cubs weighing up to ten pounds. Cubs are under the watchful eyes of their mother throughout the summer and fall seasons. As autumn nears its end, the female once again searches for a suitable den site for herself and her cubs. After emerging from the den the following spring, the adult female will stay with her offspring until she is ready to breed again in June. At that time, she aggressively discourages the companionship of these now yearling bear and they are forced to fend for themselves.

Lots more about American black bears (Ursus americanus) at the UM Animal diversity web. About the photo Ross writes:

Baby black bears being held during a bear den visit in late March 2014. These baby bears are being counted, measured, weighed and analyzed so researchers can understand more about the overall health of the black bear population in Michigan. Researchers are also tracking their movement as some bears shift into southern Michigan.

View his photo big as a bear, see more in hisNature slideshow and view & purchase photos at rossellet.com.

More animals on Michigan in Pictures.