Ask just about anyone with kids and they’ll tell you that being a parent is one of the most rewarding things they’ve ever done. Those same people will also readily admit that it isn’t easy. From newborns to sending them off to college, every age presents its own challenges and triumphs. That’s not a uniquely human thing, though. In a recent video posted to social media, a photographer captured a mother grizzly bear dealing with the trials of parenthood.
@myinnerwild 🐻 Did you see the cub stand at the end? This Grizzly Mom was feeding her cub when the cub bit her too hard by mistake, causing her to growl, bite him back, then charge coincidentally towards us. #CapCut #grizzlybear #bearcub #bearattack #albertacanada🇨🇦 #alberta #calgary🇨🇦 #canada #canadianrockymountains ♬ original sound – Chris McQuarrie
Grizzly bear moms can nurse their cubs for up to three years. According to Bear Smart, mother bears usually nurse until they’re ready to mate again. However, they may decide to wean their cubs earlier. The mama bear in the video might be thinking about putting junior on solid foods after this incident.
Photographer Chris McQuarrie was near Calgary, Alberta, Canada when he spotted the mother grizzly bear and her cub. In the video, we see the mother breastfeeding her cub. Then, it appears that the cub bites her nipple a little too hard. As a result, the mama bear disciplines the cub before running off. Frighteningly, the bear unknowingly runs straight for McQuarrie. However, it doesn’t seem like neither of the bears notice the photographer until after they start running.
We don’t see either of the bears act aggressively toward McQuarrie. However, both grizzly bears seemed to notice his presence just before the video ends. The cub looks directly at the camera and stands on its hind legs. At about the same time, mama bear looks in the direction of the photographer. Unfortunately, there’s no word on what happened next, but it’s safe to say that McQuarrie walked away from the encounter unharmed.
Don’t Mess with Grizzly Bear Moms
It’s no secret that mother grizzly bears are incredibly aggressive – they adapted this violently protective behavior to keep the cubs safe from adult male grizzlies. It’s also impossible to overstate how dangerous these bears can be. A grizzly can reach top speeds of 35 miles per hour over short distances. Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, topped out at 27.78 miles per hour. However, most people won’t come close to that speed. The average male runs about 8 miles per hour and the average woman runs 6.5 miles per hour. Keep in mind, that those speeds are measured over smooth terrain. The terrain in which one is likely to encounter a bear will surely take that top speed down a bit.
Then, there are the grizzly bear’s teeth and claws. Their fangs can be up to three inches long, but their claws are the real threat. Grizzly claws can be between 4 and 6 inches long and strong enough to dig dens and shred logs.