Most females in the animal kingdom provide their offspring with at least some level of care. Few, however, possess the maternal instincts exhibited by bears. There is nothing a mama bear wouldn’t do for cubs. Even the most non-confrontational of the species have been known to attack (albeit rarely), should an unwitting human (or another animal) get too close to her babies.
But raising cubs to adulthood is hard work. Male bears do not help in raising their young, so the important tasks of feeding and protecting cubs rest entirely with the mother.
During the first winter with her cubs, a mama bear typically loses around a third of her body weight from the sleepless nights of nursing and warming her babies. After hibernation, she must not only protect her cubs from the elements but predators and human hunters as well, all while the babies are exploring their new environment and their own strength.
Sometimes, that means rescuing her cubs from precarious situations. If a baby climbs up a tree and can’t get back down by himself, for instance, she wastes no time in coming to the rescue.
This poor mama bear had limited options. The tree in which her baby had climbed was far too thin for her to climb up after him. And as he was about 10 feet in the air, she couldn’t reach up to snatch him down either.
So she did the only thing she could do – pull the small tree with all her might while her baby clung to the topmost branches for dear life. With his sibling watching nearby, the mama bear climbed just high enough to pull the top half of the tree toward the ground, eventually snapping the tree in half completely.