2018 was a whirlwind. Meetings. Pitches. Travel. Learning to do audio on YouTube. Turning our apartment into a wall-to-wall Post-it note storyboard. You see, we’re trying to create the first prototype of Nature Labs by fall 2019 and, as a result, we had fewer days in the field than ever before. Yet 2018 was good to us. We made our time in the Rocky Mountains count like never before, narrowing our search to specific individuals and landscapes we’ve come to know well while working to create the stories that will underpin Nature Labs.
In order of date, please enjoy a behind the scenes look at the making of Nature Labs and what became our top wildlife encounters from 2018.
Black bears coming out of the den
In what was a first for us, we had the remarkable honour to document a mother black bear sow and her cub of the year emerge from their den; to witness a new life see its home for the first time.
After shaking off the cold and adjusting to the light, this black bear cub didn’t need a fancy playground to find joy. The sticks and stones provided more than enough entertainment to occupy his time and allowed for exploration of his territory.
You will often observe black bear cubs playing with objects, and, if they are lucky, with their siblings. The belief is that it allows for them to burn off excess energy, become more familiar with socialization and their surroundings, and helps them develop skills that will be vital to their survival in the wild including for hunting, mating and testing their skills.
What is evident from our years of observing these animals, is that each individual has a unique personality. Some bear cubs love to play, while others are a bit more aloof. Some mothers encourage play, while other mothers prefer more serious and focused cubs.
And over several weeks, in observing two black bear families as they took their first steps into the spring, we were given an extended view of the cubs’ emerging personalities.
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