What an incredible opportunity we had this past summer to observe this grizzly bear sow nursing her two cubs of the year. We’ve met this sow several times over the years and are always in awe of her serene demeanour.
Grizzly bears can nurse their young for up to three years, but are often weaned off early to eat solid food. It’s remarkable that grizzly sows can lactate while still in the den in the winter and early spring without the benefit of consuming any food or drinking any water. They have six nipples, and the cubs start out their lives by feeding on the milk produced from the two lowest nipples, then, as they grow, the mothers stops producing milk in lower nipples and the cubs transfer to the four higher locations.
Ghost Bear images and stories are part of our signature project Nature Labs, working to advance nature literacy in high schools. Learn more, and find out how you can support nature literacy at NatureLabs.ca.
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