WATCH: Black Bear Hides Cub Atop a Tree While Coyotes Try To Attack

by Lauren Boisvert

A mother bear had to leave her cub at the top of a tree when a group of coyotes tried to attack. The video, courtesy of Instagram user @aack_jnderson and reposted on the Nature is Metal account, shows a big cinnamon-colored black bear slowly coming down out of a tree, while her little cub sits at the top. Then, coyotes run at the bear, who quickly scales the tree again. If anything, this is an indication of how fast bears can climb trees, and why you should never try to escape a bear encounter by climbing one.

“With her cub safely out of harm’s way, this cinnamon black bear mama only has to worry about herself when the coyotes make another pass,” Nature is Metal wrote in the caption of the video. “This little standoff lasted roughly 30 minutes, and the coyotes made multiple passes before mom was forced to leave her cub and head for a better place to mount a defense.”

Everything turned out alright for the mother and her cub, thankfully. “Once the coyotes realized the cub was out of play they quickly lost interest,” the caption continued, “and soon after they moved on the cub rejoined her mom and they shuffled off into the sunset, together again.”

Coyotes Go After Bear Cub: What Are Their Motives?

This sort of situation doesn’t happen too often, though. Coyotes have been known to attack bear cubs, and occasionally a bear will attack a coyote. But, bears don’t usually see coyotes as a food source but more as a competitor for prey. Both bears and coyotes are opportunistic hunters. For coyotes, bears are not worth the work and energy put in, and vice versa. For black bears, only about 5% of their diet is meat. They prefer smaller prey like beavers and squirrels, according to

So, in general, coyotes will take on a bear cub if possible. But, in an ideal world, they go for smaller, easier prey. That’s possibly why they left the bears alone after the mother put her cub in the tree. They saw there wasn’t an opportunity to get to the food source, so they left in search of easier pickings.

Cub Becomes Super Spy, Scales Window to Try and Escape Home

In late July in Lake Tahoe, a black bear cub got to put its “Mission: Impossible” training to good use. After a mother bear and two cubs broke into the Sierra Nevada-area home, one of the cubs went off to explore by itself. Unfortunately for the cub, the door shut behind it, trapping it inside. The owners found the cub when they returned home. They immediately called the BEAR League, which is a wildlife rescue organization in Homewood, California.

The cub was found swinging from a high windowsill in the living room, trying to get out. The bear’s family was even waiting patiently outside the house for the little cub to join them. The BEAR League experts got the cub down and back with its family, and it all had a happy ending.