The story continues…
We spent more days with “our” bears, five in total! Scouts Ben (Lawrence) and Emma (Klippenstein) were always able to locate them as they slowly moved closer to the coast. Getting to them was challenging due to the thickness of the forests and willows around Nanuk, but we always found a good spot where we could see and photograph the bears without disturbing them.
It was fascinating to see how the little ones were getting more active every day. On the first day, they were mostly sleeping. On the final two days, they were nonstop sparring, play fighting, even climbing trees.
Mom usually moved with her cubs a few kilometers during the night. We actually expected them to be making the dash for the coast the night from March 13 to 14, as strong north winds and snow were in the forecast. Bears like this weather to move because they are harder for wolves to spot.
The Kaska coast is the only area where wolves would predate on bears, especially bear cubs. Therefore, the last few kilometers before they safely make it to the sea ice are the most dangerous for them.
Mom decided to stay put for another day however, and this brought additional viewing opportunities for us. The new guests arriving for the cloud wolves safari were briefed upon their arrival at the lodge, that lunch would be out in the field, since we were still on “the bear” and everyone was beyond happy about this wonderful encounter.
Then, on the way back, we saw a lot of wolf tracks. While this would generally be nice for the wolf trip, we wouldn’t want to see wolf tracks too close to mom and her cubs. So, this morning, we headed out again before breakfast. As Ben put it, “this story needs to be closed.”
We headed east and finally discovered the tracks of mom and her cubs, but also many wolf tracks. But eventually, Ben and Emma discovered three sets of tracks, two small sets and one big set, leading out on to the sea ice. They made it!
Now on to the wolves…