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.
Grizzly cubs galore
We had a great run of luck with grizzly cubs of the year this spring. With a better than average berry crop in 2017 and perfect spring feeding conditions awaiting bears as they descended from their dens, it was – in some parts of the Canadian Rockies – the best year for cubs in decades, according to researchers.
On average, grizzly bear cubs stay with their mothers for two years before being chased off to survive on their own, with females usually carving out their territory near where they were raised. Though not common, it’s also not rare for a grizzly sow to keep their young for three years, including a bear family we’re documenting in BC for Nature Labs. Of course, Yellowstone’s ‘Raspberry’ raised her 2015-born cub ‘Snow’ (so nicknamed by Jill due to the cub’s light colouration) until late this spring and we are aware of at least one grizzly that kept two cubs until age four.
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