Black Bear Cubs
"Whenever they get in a rock crevice like this it can be a tight fit." says Gary Sharp, a biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Too tight for me to squeeze into, but a couple of feet into this crevice, a 200 pound bear is sleeping the winter away with these little guys.
"The bears with new born cubs are not going to be coming out of the den until there is some cover in the Spring when flowers start to come up the first part of April." says Sharp.
That means there's probably another month of sleeping ahead for these cubs and their mom. For now, they're sleeping, eating and growing.
The biologists will collect data on these cubs before putting them back in the den. Despite the tough winter and the mast failure in the fall, Gary says the big female did a good job getting ready for her litter.
"In 2006 she was a yearling, so she's 6 years old. This is her first litter, that's a good sized litter, especially for her first one. Considering the mast conditions last fall, a litter of 3 bears is good. They have their eyes open, so they're at least 40 days old." says Sharp.
They'll stay with their mom for another year and a half or so before taking off on their own. Before long, they'll be looking for dens for themselves.
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