We have some pretty exciting news from the Lower River Cam. A possible – and if so, rare – cub adoption in Katmai National Park seems to have taken place. The cub was separated from its mother when 402 mated while still with her 1.5-year-old cub. It appears now, the cub may have a new home.
We reported on this back in July, “856 and 402 mated near Brooks Falls. This confirms what many of us suspected – that 402 was in estrus. Like I’d written about previously, this is odd because she still had a yearling cub to attend to until it was left to fend for itself around July 9.” Bears usually do not reunite with their cubs after mating, which raised concerns over the yearling’s chances at survival.
We then saw hope of what appeared to be #435, Holly, with her spring cub and 402′s “cub adult” a few weeks later. Now again this past week we have more seeming confirmation that this rare adoption took place. Viewers caught a good shot of Holly with a mixed age litter on the Lower River Cam and rangers are speculating a rare “adoption” situation in which a mother has welcomed an estranged cub in to her litter. Watch a highlight of the sighting here.