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Mothers: Bears and Elk

Last week an elk calf was killed right in the little meadow by my house.  Koda discovered the leg, lying in the disturbed grass near a solitary aspen.  The mother elk had been hanging around all morning, calling and calling for her baby.

Now, almost a week later, I heard her early this morning, still calling.

Cow elk sniffs where calf was killed

It breaks my heart to hear her.  I saw her last week quite a lot, coming closer and closer into the meadow, unperturbed by my presence or the dog, obviously confused as to where her baby might be.

Koda and I walked the trail through the little adjacent forest.  Fresh black bear tracks, a mother and her cubs, had wandered amongst the springs.  I set up my trail camera and found another leg from the calf.

The little elk had disappeared almost without a trace.  I’ve walked and walked around the area looking for more evidence.  One leg in the meadow; one in the woods; where’s the rest of her remains?  She barely lived, barely had a chance.

Yet, maybe these two little bear cubs will now have a chance.

Black Bear cubs

Its bear hunting season and although you can’t shoot a mother or her cubs, the young male whose been hanging around, digging for roots and insects, is fair game so to speak.

Its sad, but yet true.  One life feeds another.  I sing for the bear mother.  I cry for the elk mother.  One does not negate the other nor hold more value than the other.  Its’ the old and ancient dance.  Don’t be fooled.  Despite all the latest new fangled technologies, extended life, genetic transformations, new pills, greed on Wall Street, fat cat politicians and the usual rhetoric, we too are dancing.

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