The Kodiak brown bear is the biggest bear in the world, and while a huge, full-grown Kodiak is an awe-inspiring, rather intimidating sight, one can’t help but experience a sense of heart-warming joy at the sight of a cute little Kodiak cub…from a very safe distance, of course, as hell hath no fury like a mother bear who thinks her cub is in danger. So how many cubs does a mother Kodiak bear usually have, you may ask? That’s the topic of this blog.
On Kodiak Island, Alaska, bear cubs are born while they’re in their winter den during January or February. At birth, Kodiak cubs are tiny, and weigh less than a pound. By the time they emerge from their den in May or June, however, they’re already 15 to 20 pounds, as a result of nursing on their mothers’ milk.
Most mother Kodiak bears have a litter size of 2 to 3 cubs, but sows are occasionally seen with as many as 5 or even 6 cubs, which is thought to be the result of adopting other cubs that got separated from their mother for one reason or another.
Most cubs stay with their mothers for around 3 years and unfortunately over 25% of cubs die before they head out on their own. One of the main dangers and causes of death for cubs is that of being eaten by adult male bears. Yes, as I often say, the natural world is nothing like a Disney movie. The Alaskan wilderness is indeed a harsh, often brutal environment where survival of the fittest reigns supreme.
Check out the video below to see and learn more…