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deux grizzlis avec leurs bebes

Gwenn Seemel
Mama bears (Grizzly bear)
2012
acrylic on panel
10 x 10 inches

I chose this painting as the cover for the book Crime Against Nature for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the composition had space at the top for the title. For another, the bears were sharing such an utterly relatable moment, but, unlike with the bonobos, the humanity of the bears’ moment was inviting instead of challenging.

For more about the making of Mama bears, watch this vlog. Below is the text from the book that goes with this image—the book can be read and purchased here.

Sometimes two girls raise babies together…

Grizzly bears mate during the summer, but the female does not become pregnant immediately, instead delaying embryo implantation until hibernation. If her caloric intake over the summer was sufficient, she will give birth in mid-winter, often to twins. Mother and cubs remain in the den for a few more months, leaving as spring arrives. At this point, the female will sometimes form a friendship with another mother and share in childcare.