Spring Cubs

03rd June 2015
It was really hard seeing everyone posting adorable photos of black bear spring cubs in Cades Cove. There was an over abundance of new cubs this year due to an abundance of mast last fall, according to reports. We finally managed an over night trip the first of May, it wasn't near long enough but it was the best we could do.

We were blessed to see a total of 16 (I think) mamas and babies over the two days. Some were too far away for photos, or the bear jams were hindering us getting there in time. The first day we didn't get to the cove until almost lunch time. We headed down Sparks Land and saw a few cars pulled over. There was a huge mama bear feeding just across a small branch of water. The onlookers informed us there were three cubs up a tree. We never saw the cubs, but got a few shots of mama. Two very nice ranger came along and watched with us, they were very helpful.

Day two we barely missed several sightings, then we came upon a mama with one baby, surrounded by people. We went on past and pulled off the road and were getting out of the car when she came through the woods and walked in front of us. A large crowd was following her and we pulled on out again. As we rounded a curve, OH MY GOSH! Mama and baby were on a tree limb over the road. Lucky enough to get a pull over again! We watched and snapped photos as mama went up and down the tree, teaching baby how to climb. Another ranger directing traffic, he was also very nice. Mama finally went down and left baby and began to eat a little ways from the tree. Baby missed her and began to scream at the top of his lungs. Mama came back to the base of the tree and tried to coax him down. She ended up going back up after him and they wandered off into the woods. It was an experience I will never forget.