“A single female in Sweden is four times more likely to be shot as one with a cub,” said Swenson, one of the authors of the study who has spent more than 30 years working with one of the world’s longest-running research projects on bears.
Over the scope of the study, the researchers found that some female bears began to adapt their mothering tactics in order to increase their survival chances – the ursine equivalent of a human shield.
In that time, some mother bears extended the period of care from 18 months to 2.5 years.
“Generally, the cubs have followed their mother for a year and a half,” said Swenson, with the researchers finding no evidence of the longer care period before 1995.
It's a fascinating read, recommended.
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