Mama Bear and Cubs – A Defensive Encounter

I am anything but an outdoorsman but my wife enjoys walking around in nature, so on our way home from Virginia we stopped at the Shenandoah National Park and hiked the Appalachian Trail for a bit.


As we came around one bend, my wife stopped abruptly when she saw a mama bear and two cubs about 20 yards in front of us. My first instinct was to get my camera out to snap a photo of the wildlife, but my wife herded me in the opposite direction.

Interestingly, the actual mama bear had a similar response – she got her cubs moving in the opposite direction from us. As we were all moving away from each other, the mama bear and we humans were all looking over our shoulders to make sure we were moving to safety.

At the same time we were moving away, we were also preparing to defend ourselves, as I am sure the mama bear was as well. Thankfully, none of us needed to use force in this situation. So, all in all it was a successful diffusion of a potentially dangerous situation. A positive outcome for all concerned.

Having safely gotten her cubs to cover, my wife and I kept going along the trail. I was finally able to snap a photo, though not a great one. Although it is hard to see, there is a bear cub in them there woods.



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