Momma bear sends her cubs to the climbing gym

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Black bears are remarkable climbers, able to scale trees faster than most people can run. While their bodies are highly adapted to shimmying up trunks, momma bears also get their cubs climbing early, a strategy that helps to keep them safe.

In this video, the mother sends her five cubs up the tree to relative safety, prodding them gently with her nose. The reason for her caution becomes apparent when you notice a male bear wandering in the background.

As the male draws closer, the mother feigns disinterest in her offspring, waiting for the male to pass by before allowing her cubs to rejoin her.

Black bears are generally shy creatures, but be careful in the spring not to get between a mother and her cubs. The same claws that are so well-suited to puncturing bark can also be put to good use attacking anything they deem a threat to their offspring.

For more breathtaking displays of bear agility, check out this acrobatic bear that can scale cliffs.