The Gentle Female Moose
and the Big Black Bear !

There is a Very Good Reason For Her Ears Sticking Up Like That !

             The Story Begins

   That particular mid-July afternoon on Algonquin Park's 'Old Railway Bike Trail' was yet another very pleasant one, the sun shining brightly without a cloud in the sky. A tiny bit of wind from the south that was barely noticeable (to me!) ...

Trail Begins at 2 Rivers View Along The Way Looking Out At Pog Lake

   Very few people on the trail. Today's destination is Rock Lake, with a leisurely stop at the Pog Lake Campground's Comfort Station to fill up on ice-cold well-water, wash some trail dust off, and a brief relaxing sit in the shade of these beautiful tall pines. It's the halfway point on an amazing 12 KM ride (one-way from my Mew Lake Campsite to Rock Lake).

   Back out on the trail, ride across the Pog Lake Dam, climb the brief hill and head south east with the next stop being the WhiteFish Lake wooden bridge. I keep my eyes peeled for the big black bear that hangs out in this 1 KM stretch between Pog & Whitefish. He's big but no threat and has run from me several times once he finally does spot me with his relatively weak eyes.
   No sign of him today, so far, but then, right at the wooden bridge, is a very familiar and almost friendly 2 yr. old female cow moose! Awesome! However, she is certainly not her usual relaxed self as I very carefully approach ...

Looking Concerned    Why is She Uneasy ?    Something is ... There !

Extremely Acute Senses

   It didn't occur to me that this predictable female moose was actually concerned about a possible threat to her from a wild animal. I assumed she heard some mountain bikers coming or maybe was unsure of the origin of some loud noises coming from the nearby Whitefish Lake Group Campground. It never even dawned on me that maybe she was indicating a threat was lingering nearby that could potentially be of concern to both of us.

Looking Very Afraid She Decides to Leave Looking Back Down the Trail

While the Black Bear Walked Past ...

   She was totally ignoring me, and then suddenly just took off! The camera batteries died exactly as this big healthy female disappeared from view up the trail and around the corner. Please note the size of this large animal (in the image above & the video) dwarfing my large-sized adult mountain bike parked on the right side of the bridge, and also how a moose is capable of rotating their ears completely backwards in order to listen (as it is exiting the bridge)!

   I sat and began to do a little camera maintenance, thankful that the batteries had managed to last throughout that whole shooting. New batteries, review a few of these recent stills and videos, add a new 2 GB flash card, some lens cleaning, maybe a little time to sit and just relax ...

   As I sat and carefully refueled my new digital camera, little did I realize, the threat that the now long-gone moose had been so frightened of had walked right past me on the bicycle trail behind me! While I was considering battery life and what I might have for later for supper, this huge black bear that I had spotted before in this area had very quietly lumbered past me, as I was about to very quickly discover !

 Big Black Bear ! Still Doesn't Sense Me   At the Steel Bridge

Following In "Bare" Feet !

    As you can see from the above images I found out what the moose was sensing so accurately. After getting my camera in tip-top shape I jumped on my mountain bike and quickly headed out, maybe no more than 5 minutes after the moose did. I was hoping to catch up to her actually, but instead I quickly caught up to this very large Black bear only moments down the trail !

   I gently laid my bike down, took off my shoes and very quietly tried to maintain a certain distance between me and him. I was very sure that this was the same bear I had seen several times in this part of the trail, and knew almost for certain that if he heard or smelled me he would be off like a shot as well. Still, I stayed well back and as you can tell by the lack of crispness in the above photos, was shaking maybe just a little .

   Sure enough, he eventually got wind of me, stood up as high as he could - looked at me once or twice to be sure then bam! took to the woods like a shot out of a canon. I managed to get a video or 2 before his excited exit though. Hope these following videos give you a sense of what it can be like, coming face to face with these wonderful wild animals of Algonquin Park .

To see this tale in  VIDEO  format , please click on the images below .