Two grizzly cubs hitch a ride on swimming mother’s back

This video of two grizzly bear cubs (Ursus arctos) piggybacking on a swimming mother was taken 12 days ago on the Agulowak River in southwest Alaska.

I wonder what mom would have done had a cub fallen off. . .

16 Comments

  1. Randy schenck
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    And why did the bear cross the river? Makes me tired just watching.

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I think you meant to say Ursus horribilis. Arctos is the polar bear, I believe.

    • George
      Posted June 30, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Polar bear is Ursus maritimus. The mainland grizzly is Ursus arctos horribilis. If that is the Kodiak version, it is Ursus arctos middendorffi.

      • George
        Posted June 30, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        A brown bear is simply Ursus arctos. Arctos means northern in Latin.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted June 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Άρκτωος (arctus when Latinized) is Greek for northern. It’s why I always mix up the polar bear name.

          I actually pulled out my Ancient Greek lexicon to find it because Άρκτος means bear. I think Άρκτωος can be thought of as “where the bear lives” so Northern. And the reason I mix it up with the Latin binomial.

          A Classics education is a blessing and a curse. 🐍

          • Posted June 30, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            “Arktos” means bear in Ancient Greek. “Arktikos” means “of the bear” and refers to a circular region of the sky defined by the latitude of the southernmost star in the Great Bear constellation of the Greeks.

            This Greek idea is origin of our Arctic Circle.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted June 30, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

              I thought I said at more or less. I even had the lexicon out.

              • Posted June 30, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

                I’m sorry. I did not understand that you were saying that “where the bear lives” is an astronomical term and felt I needed to add that information as a clarification.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 30, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Yeah I figured I probably got the polar bear wrong but was too lazy to look.

  3. busterggi
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    So guys, why not offer a ride instead of just watching?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      You’d invite a mother grizzly onto your boat?
      Just a second while I get popcorn.
      … and a red raincoat.
      … and a camera.
      And onto another boat.

  4. rickflick
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to see how she managed to get the cubs to climb aboard. It must have taken some convincing.

  5. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what mom would have done had a cub fallen off. . .

    How well do bear cubs swim?
    I’ll hazard a guess that there’s food on the far bank, and a male grizzly on the near bank, leading to an ursine variant on the old puzzle about the man travelling with a sheep, a wolf and a cabbage, who comes to a river with a small boat.
    Wolves on the near bank might be enough too. While one wolf versus a bear+cub isn’t much of a threat, several wolves and several cubs is a much harder fight.

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a clip of the same mum’n’cubs crossing, but in this one we get to see them hit the beach on the other side:

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Excellent! Good to see.

  7. Posted July 1, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.


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