Explore.org brings us a heart-stopping video that sees a mother bear standing upon the edge of a waterfall as her three cubs are caught up in rushing waters and pulled along by the current. You can see the mother’s instinct kick in as she sets about with a fierce quickness to rescue her babies from the impending danger. Thankfully, she is able to rescue all three cubs swiftly, bringing them to safety.
The waterfall where this event occurred is located in Alaska’s beautiful Katmai National Park. Black bears quite enjoy a dip in the waters of national parks, and they have been found in ponds, lakes, streams and even the occasional backyard pool. They are competent swimmers, yet move at a leisurely clip of about 1-1.5 miles an hour.
Bears are attracted to freshwater sources not just for entertainment purposes, but also as a vital means for survival. Bears will consume 6-7 gallons of fresh water each day, and often search for food in freshwater sources.
Bears seem to have a favorite fish, and that is the prized sockeye salmon, sometimes consumed whole, and this is a primary draw of Katmai National Park, according to The Daily Mail. Bears also have a variety of fishing styles. They may stand and wait for jumping salmon, they may dash into the water and grab with their paws, they may completely submerge themselves in a deep dive in a quest for a tasty treat, and as a last ditch effort, they may beg or even steal from other bears. A begging bear will often cry like a cub in front of a more dominant bear, and for their troubles, they may be rewarded with leftovers such as gills and entrails. Theft is a little more challenging and requires one bear confronting another in the water and snatching away its catch. Younger and less dominant bears usually make their way to the woods quickly with their catch to avoid such a fate.
With swimming so important to a bear’s life, it’s good that this mamma bear has taken her cubs for an early swimming lesson and kept her eye on them. Check out the video below, and SHARE if you’re a fan of maternal protection.