If a grizzly cub is behaving badly, blame it on momma bear.
A new study from the University of Alberta suggests cubs who have seen their mothers come into conflict with humans are more likely to do so.
Andrea Morehouse, a wildlife ecologist, says this is social learning.
She says grizzly bear cubs are raised solely by their mothers and so there is a strong link between mom and cub.
“In Grizzly bears, cubs stay with their mom for about two to three years and it’s just the moms who are involved in the rearing of the offspring. Male grizzly bears are not involved in that,” Morehouse says.
Researchers say problem behavior can be reduced by using electric fencing, installing tougher handles on grain bins, quickly removing dead livestock and using bear-proof garbage bins.
The research was published in the online science journal PLOS ONE and is based on a study of 2,043 grizzlies across Alberta, British Columbia and Montana done in partnership with the United States Geological Survey.
Researchers focused on grizzlies that were involved in attacks on people, livestock or pets or had broken into grain bins and fed on garbage.