Young bears in August on a forest sighting line. Curious!
Photo and text: Remo Savisaar
Estonian text posted by the Animal of the Year Team 01.09.2018
English translation Liis
My first encounter with a lynx took place 9 years ago, in the beginning of September. At that time I visited the Alam-Pedja nature conservation area quite often. At the time it seemed like paradise to me. I cannot remember a single empty visit, and each time excitement was sky-high. Whom will I meet today? I always saw some interesting mammal or winged creature. Roe deer, elks, foxes, raccoon dogs. I didn’t dare to dream much about larger creatures but I did think of lynxes. There were tracks and there was hope!
One early August morning, moving along a meadow and then along forest sighting lines and clearings in the forest I managed to meet elk calves and after that their mother too. After observing and photographing them I headed quietly into the neighbouring forest, to get from there to the next sighting line from the road. When I reached the next forest road it seemed empty. For certainty I checked the sighting line in both directions through the camera sight and saw then at about
I took some photos from a distance and wondered whether they would remain my best bear images. With trembling hands I started quickly to erase old images because the 2GB memory card was filled with elk photos. I couldn’t blame myself enough for having forgotten the extra memory card in the car. It was always in the pocket of my jacket but just now when it was needed I had forgotten it in the car.
I took some more photos. The bears were very small in the photos. I decided to try to get a little closer. A bear is a quite shy animal and runs off at once when the smell of a human hits its nose, not to talk about seeing a human. I tried to use my time and started to creep closer super silently. The wind was favourable. About half an hour later I was
To see me better the bear at the back rose up on two legs, so changing into a quite a boulder. I photographed but the bear did not fit in the frame. I turned the camera into portrait format and saw how the upright-standing honeypaw took off to the right .
After that the bear that had been standing on four legs rose up. All kinds of thoughts already tumbled in my head. The bear let itself down and took a few more steps closer, just passing my endurance limit. Finally it too followed the companion. I felt relieved. The departure of the bears was quick and the forest crackled as if trees were being broken there. We were not far from a point when I would have been forced to decide for myself how to act. Probably I would have talked to the first bear and if the bear would still have been there after that, I would have used an angrier voice, standing up and making myself bigger. All ended well and peacefullly. I was extremely happy and filled with powerful emotions. Such a morning I would never have expected.
After this encounter I went there many mornings looking for another meeting.
A month later I was at the same felling line and observed the doings of a roe deer there until it disappeared into the forest. I moved quietly closer to the spot and stopped, somehow it felt as if someone more was there and observed me?! I lifted the camera and checked through the lens. Wow! It was a lynx! I froze into immobility and watched the wild feline through the lens. I had already been discovered by the lynx and did not even have time to think about approaching before the lynx disappeared from the clearing into the forest. I quickly checked the images on the camera display – had I managed to catch the meeting? And there it was – my first lynx!