This summer I photographed a group of four grizzlies on two occasions. The first time I thought I had a mother and 3 cubs initially. But as I watched them and their behaviour together, I came to the conclusion that there were two adults and two cubs.
One of the two adults I now call squint eyes and you’ll see why in one of the photos. He/she wanders with the others but doesn’t seem to interact with the cubs. The other adult, smaller, appears to be the mother.
I asked a bear biologist I know if this was normal – 2 adults with the cubs – and his response was that there is a normal grouping of a mother and cubs. But normal is not always the norm. Sometimes a sibling will hang around, usually a female; sometimes the mother of the mother stays around and sometimes an unrelated bear may even be tolerated.
In any case, this group made for interesting viewing. You saw one of the cubs in the ‘Teddy Bear…not’ post. Now here is the group as they wandered by. In the shots of the mother she appears to have caught the scent of something (could it be me?).