“First I thought 1 baby had been struck by car!” Watch as this mother black bear tries desperately to get all four of her tiny, rambunctious cubs across a busy Connecticut street.
This mama bear has her paws full! The weekend footage shows an adorable yet nerve-wracking display of motherhood as it unfolds.
“I can relate as a mom of 4 myself,” captions the footage’s videographer. Within, a Connecticut black bear sow struggles to get all four of her rowdy cubs across a busy Winchester street. Thankfully, local police were on hand to stop traffic and allow the crossing to take place.
“First I thought 1 baby had been struck by car, came back 15 minutes later to realize mama was simply trying to get all 4 babies to cross the street, together!,” the fellow mother’s caption cites. Law enforcement had to stop traffic both ways on the highway, as the mother bear spent nearly 30 minutes wrangling her cubs.
At first, it seems like all is well for the family, as one tiny cub hops across the asphalt in his mama’s stead. Leave it to siblings, however, to make things difficult. Two far more stubborn cubs stay to the right side of the road, leaving her no choice but to cross continuously.
Many black bear mothers, however, would not have done the same. It’s a true testament to this sow’s mothering instincts, as she refuses to continue until all cubs are safe. Black bears are notorious for abandoning cubs if their situation endangers the rest of the family. But not this mama:
Black Bears: Nature’s Mothering Experts
“‘Aw, she got them all across finally!” the filming party coos towards the end.
The footage is adorable, yes, but it is also remarkable for several reasons. Indeed, one of the largest misconceptions about black bear mothers is their defensiveness over cubs.
All bear species can be intensely protective of their young. Unlike brown bears, however, black bears tend to waiver on the side of caution. While browns, such as grizzlies and Kodiaks, will mow down any obstacle facing their offspring, American black bears are far more skittish.
According to Bear.org, “70% of the killings by grizzly bears are by mothers defending cubs.”
In contrast, there are no confirmed records of black bears killing humans in defense of their cubs. This is, the organization cites, “a grizzly bear trait.”
While interesting, this makes black bears no less dangerous. Especially as their populations continue to rise in Connecticut, where this “mama bear” footage originates circa March 2021. In fact, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection cites that a whopping 150 of Connecticut’s 169 towns reported black bear sightings in 2019.
All in all, a total of 7,300 bear sightings were logged that year. It’s a remarkable number that shows just how far the species has rebounded in New England.