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Any Black Bear Experts Out There?

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The male descending the tree while the female remains at the top. She followed shortly after.

I recently took a trip to Yellowstone national park, which, as expected, was an amazing place. The geysers and hot water pools were beautiful; walking around there you felt like you were on another planet. Just south of yellowstone, I stayed in the Grand Teton national park for a couple nights, and there I was lucky enough to see two black bears playing in a tree together. The ranger I talked to said that they were a male and a young female, but that their play behaviour (i.e. courtship) was unusual for this time of year as it’s not mating season. I tried to read up on black bear play and courtship behaviour but I dind’t find anything- if anyone has any insights I’d love to hear them!

Felicity Muth About the Author: Felicity Muth is an early-career researcher with a PhD in animal cognition. Follow on Twitter @notbadscience.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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