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Exciting Sightings - UPDATE May 10, 2024


Word came today that 17-year-old Lily was seen with four cubs. The spotters know Lily, and they sent us this picture showing her light muzzle that they took in Lily’s territory with a litter of four—the same size litter as she produced two litters ago. We’ll have our eyes and ears open for follow-up sightings. Lily makes my heart sing.


Another exciting sighting today is of 25-year-old RC and her yearling son River. RC is identified by her white check mark on the right side of her chest that gave her the name RC, which stands for Right Check. She is also identifiable by the pattern on her muzzle, a tiny notch near the tip of her right ear, the dip in her back, the scattered white hairs on her forehead, and her manner. RC is the oldest daughter of Shadow, and the second most productive member of Shadow’s Clan with 30 cubs, compared to 24-year-old Donna with her 31 cubs. Shadow herself had at least 26 cubs with a possible additional litter during the six years before we knew her. We’re wondering if River is the last cub RC will produce. Her mother Shadow’s last litter was a single cub. The oldest three black bears to give birth that I’ve heard of were 26, 26, and 28 (Shadow). We don’t know how close to those ages other mothers produced their last litters. If RC produces another cub, she will be 26 at the time, tying the record for the second oldest black bear to produce a litter.

Snowball in white pineSnowball in white pine

The third exciting sighting was Snowball who chose to pose for a picture showing off her beauty framed by the needles of a tall white pine, the favorite kind of refuge tree in this region.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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