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Tag Archives: Looking

grizzly cub standing

Why do bears stand on their hind legs?  Because they can!

It’s a great way to see more–and to smell more–than they can at ground level.  Especially when you’re a tiny cub playing in tall grass.

As you can see, the grass is higher than the cub’s hindquarters, which means that when it’s on all fours, all it can see is…grass.  And all the photographer can see is…grass.

This cub and its sibling had some epic wrestling matches while mom was grazing.  Sometimes we were able to get a good view, and other times all we saw was the occasional paw sticking up out of the grass.

So we loved it when one cub or the other–or ideally both together–would stand up to take a breather and/or to relocate their mom, who was a fairly mobile grazer.

The cubs–like human children–also loved to climb UP on things, like logs or rocks.  That gave them an even better vantage point than standing up on the ground.  And of course gave us photographers some delightful photo ops.

Over the next few days, I’ll post some images of cubs being cubs.


sow and cub looking

I love the way the grizzly sow and her cub are staring intently off to the right…at what, I can’t say.  I also think it’s interesting that from this angle, the two bears appear to be the same height (which they obviously wouldn’t be if the sow were standing up).  Grizzly sows have a funny habit of lying down with their back legs splayed out behind them–it’s hard to see the soles of her feet in the tall grass–and it makes them look less than dignified!

cubs tall and short

While these grizzly cubs often lost sight of their mother while she was foraging for food, they did a great job of sticking together.  And their faces are so expressive…an equal mix of apprehension and curiosity as they search for mom, check out the environment…and one of them looks directly at me!

grizzly cubs standing sideways


cub in meadow

This grizzly cub is SO small, and the late summer meadow has grown SO tall, that the cub can barely see over it, even standing on its back legs!

Grass, sedge, fireweed, lupine and cow parsnip are just a few of the plants blocking the cub’s view of its mother.

Standing Cub

Grizzly cubs stand on their hind legs for the same reason the adults do:  to get a better look at their surroundings.