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Lisa, Livermore, CA

On your delightful site, you write of the back bear,

"Although rarely heard, the black bear has several distinct calls. These include growls, whining, jaw snapping, and loud snorts of many kinds. These sounds are usually emitted when the bear is afraid or threatened. A female with cubs may warn them of danger with a loud woof-woof and call them in with a whining or whimpering sound. The cry of a young cub in trouble is similar to the crying of a human baby."

We hung our food high on a Ponderosa on the Tuolumne River one summer in the less traveled northern part of Yosemite National Park in California. We were aware that a hoary old bear was watching us. At midnight she brought her cubs, whom she had clearly trained to open hung food. They were extremely noisy, bleating with excitement just like sheep! It was a very strange but joyful cacophony. While their mother watched, they scampered up the pine to open our "piñatas." They leapt out, ripping the sacks with their claws as they fell, landing unscathed on the springy forest floor far below. They utterly demolished the sacks on the second try.

It was quite a haul, as two folks on their honeymoon had joined us with fudge and brownies! We persuaded them to let us hang their food. We have awesome tooth marks on our mess kits, but the Gatling-gun-like bleating really stands out in our memories of the event. It was clearly a very special outing for the two young cubs. (I'd guess they each weighed over 40 lb.)

Thanks for the marvelous website!