Visitors at the Alutaguse observation ground

Text Bert Rähni,
Web camera images Ergee and Agatheb, LK forum
Translation: Liis
Last night at least two young bears visited the observation ground at different times; unfortunately the second one was not caught on camera. Early in the morning the familiar young boar was there. There are movements in the forest day and night, we live in the lightest period of the year.
By mid-June the bear mating period slowly ends.
According to some sources one strategy of male bears for dispersing their genes is to kill strange bear cubs. A male bear is said to distinguish between strange cubs and his own offspring by way of the female. He is said to remember the love affairs of the last few years and the cubs of a familiar female are left alone. To counter this females have their tricks. Firstly females with cubs reduce the size of their territory considerably, to meet the males as little as possible. The territory of a female bear without cubs is several times the size  of her sister's with cubs. Secondly the females mate with all the males moving in the territory in order to seem “familiar“ to all.
Comment from Mati Kaal to the above: “I am sure that the male does not generally kill his cubs because the female keeps them away from him, and defends them fiercely if needs be. The memories of one-time „moments of happiness“ however seem to be a human romantic addition.“
But the bear cubs certainly fear male bears very much. When they approach, the cubs flee high up into a tree where the heavy male bears do not risk climbing after them. The brave attempts of the female bear to defend her young also help. According to Peep Männil’s information the risk of cubs being killed is greatest in spring. In autumn the big males are already much more lenient towards the young. Then their thoughts are focused on eating and preparing for winter. Carrying on the species becomes current again next spring.
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