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8 June 2021 Burying of dead cubs by a brown bear in Greece: Food caching or ‘grief’ behavior?
Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, Nikos Panagiotopoulos
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Abstract

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.

Alexandros A. Karamanlidis and Nikos Panagiotopoulos "Burying of dead cubs by a brown bear in Greece: Food caching or ‘grief’ behavior?," Ursus 2021(32e7), 1-5, (8 June 2021). https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-20-00015.2
Received: 26 May 2020; Accepted: 3 August 2020; Published: 8 June 2021
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KEYWORDS
behavior
brown bear
Burying
emotion
food caching
Greece
grief
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