Black bear quintuplets
Comment: I was forwarded this by a friend. I find it hard to believe, being from NH myself and
in the photo with the grown bears you will see one which has white on its chest….the only one
out of the five ‘supposed’ cubs. The pattern of the white resembles an Asian bear I once saw
in a zoo in Germany so again; it has me suspicious of the actual story which could be a bear
sanctuary that a female 'adopted' the cubs who may have been abandoned. Hence the
reason they all survived….and not victims of the harsh Northern New England weather and
It would be great to know the truth about this forward because if it is the real deal, it is TRULY an
amazing feat of the bears and the photographer:
Black bears typically have two cubs; rarely, one or three.
In 2007, in northern New Hampshire, a black bear Sow gave birth to
five healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as
many as 4 cubs, but five was, and is, very extraordinary.
I learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set
myself a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom - no matter
how much time and effort was involved.
I knew the trail they followed! do on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly
before dark. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week,
for more than six weeks, I had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and
I used the equivalent of a very fast film speed on my digital camera. The
print is properly focused and well exposed, with all six bears posing as if
they were in a studio for a family portrait.
I stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the
summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to
As time for hibernation approached, I found still more folks who had seen
them, and everything remained OK. I stayed away from the bears as I
was concerned that they might become habituated to me, or to people in
general, and treat them as approachable friends. This could easily become
dangerous for both man and animal.
After Halloween, I received no further reports and could only hope the
bears survived until they hibernated.
This spring, just before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of
their den and wandered all over the same familiar territory they trekked
in the spring of 2007.
I saw them before mid-April and dreamed nightly of taking another family
portrait, a highly improbable second once-in-a-lifetime photograph.
On 25 April 2008, I achieved my dream.
When something as magical as this happens between man and animal,
Native Americans say, We have walked together in the shadow of a
rainbow. And so it is with humility and great pleasure that I share these
exhilarating photos with you.
Do pass them on!
I wonder why the photographer's name is missing when there are apparently so many other details?
(eta) From the email I meant... I'd had the page open ages and the other posts weren't there before!
Depending on where you live and food supply, bears can have a larger group of cubs. At my father-in-laws cabin in northern Wisconsin it's actually rare to see a Mother with less than three cubs.
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