As many of you know, I have been spending a lot of time with Rosie and her three cubs near Tower this spring, hoping to capture the perfect cute cub shot before they aren’t cute little ones any longer. Unfortunately, about every time I get into a great position for the good shot, a ranger pulls the plug and shuts the scene down, usually due to someone not following the rules. Or, just because they can.
Today was another of those days when we got sent packing, despite doing all of the right things. Well, others would sneak up, go behind the ranger and stand right across the road from the bear and so I guess it was a little difficult to manage. But, us that are behaving ourselves are constantly paying the price of those who think that the rules don’t apply to them. Truly unfortunate but with a lot of experience, I have come to the point where I am just grateful for the times that are good and shrug my shoulders at the rest. No use getting terribly upset but I do try and let folks know that they will ruin it for everyone – most care but some don’t.
But, there was a day last week when everything worked great. I got some nice shots – nothing great but it was good to be able to watch the bears for a long time and to do so with a crowd who were doing as they were told. And, I got to watch the bear managers in action.
Just last week I was a little tired and worn out when I learned about a new mom with her new cub being crackered by some law enforcement officers and the whole idea of the cub going through such trauma made me terribly emotional.
This week, with a lot of good sleep and getting to watch the bear managers work with Rosie and her three new cubs, I have a much different perspective. Mainly, that I have a lot to learn because I am not well-informed about bear management policy. And, so I became a willing student once again and decided to open my mind to learning about the other sides of the story. Because, to every story there is always several sides and no one can speak for another person’s intent. Not to say that those who told me their version were wrong, just that I am unfamiliar with policy and the entire scope of bear management.
So, last week, just as Rosie was finishing her second fawn for the week, near Roosevelt, the bear managers arrived. I was delighted to see these two guys because everything I have ever seen from them has been outstanding. This time was no exception.
Rosie finished her meal and began to check out her exit plan, which brought her right towards us until she saw that bear management truck and turned to find other options. The bear management truck intercepted once again and I saw Rosie look down on them and wheel around. From what I saw, the goal was to keep Rosie away from the crowds and buildings, such as the gas station and Roosevelt Lodge. I believe they also wanted to avoid her parading her three cubs up the busy road.
Given the controversy last week about the hazing of the grizzly sow, I was curious to see how they would handle things with this sow and her three youngsters.
For one thing, Rosie is obviously quite smart and she knew those bear managers. She also knows that the crowds of people are keeping her relatively safe from the boars – or keeping her cubs safe – and they are particularly vulnerable right now because the guys are on the prowl. And, she is the darned best mom, which means she is going to do what is right for her family.
The bear managers gently kept Rosie and the cubs away from the buildings and offered her alleyways to pass through. But, they eventually had to coax her up the hill and completely around Roosevelt Lodge. There was no trauma to the bears, other than a little frustration about being told no and they got a little training on where not to be, which could save them trouble in the future.
The entire operation, the bear jam and the rangers tellings stories about the bears, along with making sure that the kids were getting to see the animals, and the herding of Rosie, all went well. Everyone got to see and/or photograph the bears and they were safely removed from the housing areas without any sort of crackering, or other method. I did hear that Rosie had been paintballed earlier in the week, when she finished her first carcass. Looks to me like she is a fast learner.
Only hope that I can learn the ins and outs of this park half as fast. I do strive to learn the truth so that I can share the facts with all of you. If I get things wrong, and I have and will, please feel free to send a private note and let me know.