Scared Cubs and Crying Babies Sound Alike

Black bear cubs and human babies can sound enough alike to confuse both species.

Bear cub crying

On August 7, 1990, a scared cub sounded so much like a person yelling “Help” that people ran into the woods to help.

Similarly, crying babies can stir the motherly instincts of black bears.

On July 4, 1970, a mother black bear woke up from being tranquilized and began searching for her cubs. A 3-week-old baby cried. The bear approached within a few feet, saw what it was, and went on to find her cubs up a tree.

On March 15, 2003, five people, including a newborn baby, were outside a den containing a mother black bear and two cubs. When the baby cried, the bear leaped to within two feet of it and then looked back at her cubs. The look of concern left her face and she settled back into the den with her cubs.

On July 24, 2004, a baby cried in a house. Outside, a mother bear stood up and pressed her face and paws against a picture window four feet away until the baby stopped crying. The mother bear and cubs walked off into the darkness.

Several supposedly true stories tell of lost children being attended by mother bears.

Here is an example of a cub crying in the den at 1 month of age


And here is an example of a baby crying




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