My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Juneau’s road side bears; Mom and 3 cubs

on May 24, 2014
bears playing

3 cubs playing on a log. (Photo by Janet Lopez)

janet year one bears

Mama watching her 3 babies in the spring of 2013. (Photo by Janet Lopez)

Last May (2013) we had a treat almost daily this black bear and her cubs would be eating dandelions on the by-pass near our house.  Several time I’d see them OR at least knew they were there because cars were parked all along the road trying to get photos. NONE of these pics are mine, but I will get credit to my sweet friends who took them. I am usually on my motorcycle this time of year and I am NOT stopping to grab the camera.


This May (2014) I was thrilled to see them early in May and almost every day since. Sometimes they are just playing around and others simply eating. It means that the babies made it through winter and are now one year old! Very fun.

katy bears

May 2014 Mom and 1 year olds return. (Photo by Katy Giorgio)

bears cx

This is a Juneau traffic jam… I drive this road daily and see them all the time. (May 2014 photo by Jennifer Hardy Brown)


So, for the educational part of this blog…. Some maybe wondering, ‘how come 2 cubs are brown and mom and other cub are black?’ Well the answer is actually quite simple. Black Bears, are all one species, but can be black, brown, cinnamon, blonde and yes, even white, which in Alaska and the Pacific NW are called “Spirit Bears” . Scientist speculate that there are many different colors to their coats: 1. to help camouflage them or 2. Because of climate and what they eat.


These brown cubs could lose the brown color and turn to black over time. It usually doesn’t happen until they are a bit older.


One other thing to note is the ‘chest blaze’ that is clearly viewed on the mom and the cubs. It is basically a “V” like marking, and her cubs are more likely to keep theirs throughout their life because she still has hers. It is not uncommon for a cub to lose theirs as they mature.


****These brown coated ‘black’ bears should NOT be confused with the Brown or Grizzly bears that I wrote about in my blog last summer.https://timistravels.wordpress.com/2013/07/ They can inhabit the same areas, but the Brown/Grizzly bears are much larger and have distinct characteristics that label them as such.

see the V marking on chest?  photo by Sue Reishus

Take note of the V marking on chest? photo by Sue Reishus

watched this guy stand up and walk over to car; it is worrysome how comfortable they are around humans. Photo by Sue Reishus

mom crossed the road leaving the cubs on one side. There was an attempt to stop traffic and allow cubs to join mom, here they are reunited again. Photo by Sue Reishus

UPDATE: Last night on ride home stopped and watched them play, my friend Sue Reishus captured these shots.

One response to “Juneau’s road side bears; Mom and 3 cubs

  1. Karen says:

    What an amazing place you live!


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