Monday, May 16, 2011
Suzemka's boyfriend. The transient passion.
Several days ago Suzemka brought to my station her first boyfriend (he is on the left on the picture). This admirer is even slightly shorter than her, his fur is in pathetic condition with some hairless patches, and he is constantly scratches himself. I am seriously concerned about our young beauty health with such a boyfriend!
Now the mating season is just starting for the bears, the culmination of bears' "weddings" will happen only in June. But the female bears has already lost their usual distrust and aggression towards the males of their kind, and became very playful.
I got partially involved into bears' love affairs this year. And even though I almost accepted the clumsy appearance of Suzemka's choice, and even decided not call him "Clumsy" (not to offend), but just neutral "BoyFriend" instead, still, my short sleep has became even shorter nowadays. As if they are on schedule, at 3:50 am, even before the twilight the clatter of bears' feet wakes me up. In a mating chase Suzemka makes circles around our house and "Boyfriend" is following her. This is natural, this is how females ensure that the chosen male is healthy and will be a good father for the future generation.
So Boyfriend is chasing Suzemka all across the land, but if she goes in the cold waters of nearby river he gives up and waits for her at the river bank. After such a chase they usually eat fresh grass that just appeared along the river. The most grass is right next to my station. The well-educated Suzemka understands that the yard - is my territory, and that it is not polite to come to the human closer than 30 yards. But this uncouth hooligan thinks that it looks cool if he scratches his back against the corner of my not-so-sturdy and quite old house! Still sleeping at these times student-volunteer always thinks that the shaking is caused by an earthquake. Apparently, "Boyfriend" thinks that by leaving droppings near the storage unit or sleeping by the toilet door (especially when it's mostly needed) he will impress Suzemka with his courage! Yesterday we even had to use a flare to scare him away. Hopefully he will remember the lesson!
I strongly believe that this "Boyfriend" is a temporary thing. Very soon the mature and heavyweight bears will come into play. On this picture it is our old acquaintance, Robinzon, who also lives nearby on a river island. He does not hurry to start the mating games, but when the time is right (when the females will have their ovulation), the males similar to this one will chase away all the youngsters and will be the fathers' of future cubs!
Original post is by Igor Shpilenok (both text & images) in Russian here.