Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, Nikos Panagiotopoulos
Ursus 2021 (32e7), 1-5, (8 June 2021) https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-20-00015.2
KEYWORDS: behavior, brown bear, Burying, emotion, food caching, Greece, grief, Ursus arctos
Understanding animal behavior is essential for the conservation of endangered species. We document the case of a female brown bear (Ursus arctos) burying her 2 cubs-of-the-year, following their death in a car accident in May 2020 in the Prefecture of Kastoria, northern Greece. Both cubs were partially buried, half-covered with earth in an open field. We explore the circumstances and causes of this unusual behavior in relation to 2 potential explanations: caching of food and ‘grieving.’ Although the evidence collected is not conclusive enough to accept either of the 2 explanations, we report this observation to draw attention to this type of behavior in brown bears in the wild and hope that it will serve as a source for motivating future research.