Bears reach maturity at the age of 3-5 years. Bears can reach 20-25 years old in the wild. During her lifetime, female bears can give birth every 2-4 years. Females give birth to cubs in the winter nest in the end of January. The number of cubs is 1-3, rarely 4 cubs.
Cubs usually follow their mother until the spring of their third year, but the mother bear and cubs mutual time together is not continuous. Newborn cubs follow their mother closely for a year, until the following year in May when the mother and yearling cubs separate during the rutting season.
They re-join again later in summer and yearling cubs follow their mother closely again through the end of summer and autumn to the winter nest again. In the third spring after leaving the winter nest, the mother and her cubs paths diverge. All cubs now wander alone but they may meet with each other, and the family members tolerate each other even at close distances.
At least two different litters have been seen at the hide area every year. Various litters of the same year are seen in the hide area every year at certain times, the previous year’s litters also visit annually.
Tips for photographing the litters
- To get the entire litter in the photo, it is good to use a focal length wide enough. Zoom lenses are a good choice.
- When a litter arrives, it is better to have a proper lens attached to the camera body. It is not advisable start to change lenses when a litter has already arrived as photographing time will be wasted and potential noises and the camera positioning may scare the wary mother and her cubs.
- Litters can stay for a long or short time, it is profitable to utilise the entire visit.
- Cubs are quick. At the time of low light, motion blur may occur in the photo, so it is important to maintain shutter speeds fast enough and ISO values high enough.
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