Momma bear in Yellowstone has ‘paws full’ with misbehaving cub

A momma bear in Yellowstone National Park appears to be at wits end with her misbehaving cub as it plays a game of “Catch me if you can.”

Momma bear is definitely fed up with the cub’s antics, as she gets a little rough, including whipping the young one around at the 5:00 mark in the video produced by Ron Sterbenz of Yellowstone Video.

“I had never seen that rough behavior before on a cub,” Sterbenz told USA Today/For The Win Outdoors. “Mom’s patience was clearly wearing thin that morning. I have heard that black bears don’t always make great mothers, but I am not really sure what folks mean by that. As rough as she was on it, I wasn’t surprised that she only had one left.”

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Sterbenz shot the footage in May in the northern tier of Yellowstone on the southeast hillside of Elk Creek. He condensed about 25 minutes of video down to the 6½ minutes he posted.

“When I later assembled the video sequences there were times that cub played and climbed a tree after this rough handling so it didn’t seem like it was running away,” Sterbenz told For The Win Outdoors. “In fact, the cub later followed mom over a couple logs and I think bedded down to nurse. I waited another half hour, but neither reappeared.

“Like children of every species, they will test the patience of their parents every once in awhile.”

Also on FTW Outdoors: Yellowstone tourist is no ‘bison whisperer,’ just reckless


There was plenty of sympathy for the momma bear from viewers of Yellowstone Video. Among the comments:

“This mother has her paws full. The cub is too funny, but Mama isn’t laughing.”

“Poor mama bear, she must be thinking ‘Lord give me patience.’”

“That mother is going to have to spank him. This just made my day!!”

“Poor mom. Kids never listen to moms even with animals, but that’s what moms do, love and care.”

“Good thing she only has the one. That cub has a very independent streak.”

“Well, we all know what this is…some days Mom has just had enough.”

“This little one is a hand full lol….he pushed every button she had….then climbed a tree…..little stinker.”


“That’s one defiant and very independent cub! Such a little rascal! It knew it had the advantage as it didn’t weigh enough to break through the snow, yet momma bear did! Delightful video.”

Photo courtesy of Ron Sterbenz.


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Story originally appeared on For The Win