Multiple fathers in the same litter

Grizzly bear cubs in the same litter can actually have different fathers.  We had seen this grizzly mother the previous year in Brooks Falls with four spring cubs.  Only these two cubs survived their first year of life, and one of the Katmai rangers commented that the runt surprisingly survived.  You can see from this picture that the runt is only half the size of his sibling.  These two bears, so different in size, might also have different fathers.  Female grizzly bears can bear young in the same litter from eggs that are fertilized by different males.

Humans and grizzly bears walk this same road to the waterfalls in Brooks Falls– with the caveat that the bears will always take priority and humans must get out of their way.  It feels great to walk in a place where humans are not the "top dog".

 

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© 2008 Jessica Teel