Human beings generally think of the black bear as a fearsome beast. But after you see this short series of photos from wildlife photographer Peter Mather, you may never see bears that way again. In fact, you’ll probably think of black bears as more like — people.
Mather captured this sequence of a bear cub emerging from its den for the first time, wanting nothing but to find its mother. And then there’s the mother, who wants nothing but a little peace and quiet.
Mather told the Mother Nature Network, that while he had photographed bears along this stretch of road in Canada’s Yukon before, it was just by chance that he captured these touching, and very intimate moments between mother and child.
“I was simply lucky here. I was driving along a road with my partner Terri when she woke me up as she’d spotted a black bear,” he told MNN. “We pulled over and we saw this little guy stick its head of its den. I believe the family had denned on the side of the road dug into a snowbank beside a culvert. I think the culvert was part of the den or a safety hole for the family.”
Mather said that bearing witness to this simple but profound moment when a tired mom cuddled up with her newborn cub, gave him a strong feeling of connection with these beautiful creatures, who are not so different from us.
“Watching this baby bear for an hour as she explored, cried, screamed and explored some more. The one thought that really struck me was that there is no way any person could shoot a bear, after seeing a newborn cub like that,” he said. “The interactions between the cub and sow were so similar to what you’d see with a mom and her child. I had so much compassion for this tiny little bear with no teeth, about to tackle this tough world. I wish every hunter had to see that before they could get a license to kill bears.”
All Images: Peter Mather