As spring progressively moves into Bear Country and the winter snows clear from the valleys, new sources of food begin to unfurl and appear. This is good news for bears, as 80 percent of their diet is usually based on plant matter. Grizzly bear mothers are meticulous foragers, teaching their cubs by example how to recognize the grasses, sages, berries and roots that will be nutritious and won't cause harm.
The cubs have grown to be boisterous and playful, and their attention span is short. Fortunately, they will stay with their mother for approximately 2-½ years (black bear cubs are sometimes weaned as early as 1-½ years), and she will only drive them away when she is prepared to mate again. In the interim, they will have plenty of time to learn what they need to know in order to survive on their own.
For now, the mother still takes great care to avoid other bears. Though the passing months bring a more abundant food supply, she still avoids situations that might threaten her offspring.