This past weekend in Waterton was unseasonably warm with Saturday above 30 degrees Celsius and little to know wind. Excellent weather for enjoying the park, but I knew that the black bears would be suffering from the high heat and lack of wind and would likely be searching out water to cool off. When I first came across this big male black bear he was busy feeding on berries.  However, after about an hour of being in the direct sunlight he was panting heavily and he kept looking over a small ridge in the direction of a  creek. Within a few minutes he lumbered through the Saskatoon berry bushes, through a small cluster of aspen trees before heading  down the rocky shoreline.  I quickly went to the opposite side of the creek and got into position as he descended the bank.  Without hesitation he walked into the creek and laid down, first on one side and then the other making sure to get as much of his body covered in the cool fast running water.  His panting quickly stopped and for several minutes he just laid in the water…the human equivalent of lounging in the pool with a cold drink in hand!  But a bear in the fall has an insatiable hunger.  They need to eat almost constantly to put on enough weight to survive the winter and so I’m sure his hunger for food quickly overrode his temporary relief from the heat.

Advertisements