Like a scene from a children’s storybook, a black bear was caught taking an impromptu nap by a photographer’s camera in a valley in the Los Angeles National Forest.
Southern California nature photographer Rob Martinez, 49, couldn’t believe his luck when he arrived on the scene and checked his images. It showed the bear entering the frame, adorably making a bed in the clearing and taking a nap.
“I couldn’t believe it, it was breathtaking,” Martinez told The Epoch Times. “He spent four hours napping, stretching.”
Martinez had already spotted trampling marks on the ground nearby, an indication of bears marking their territory, and thought this area would give a good shot.
He had no idea how good it was.
He had sighted this bear before, about a quarter mile away on one of the photographer’s other trail cameras. He assumed the animal had been traveling all night, deciding to stop to rest around 7:40 a.m.
“I had high hopes, I didn’t think at all that I would see the bear in the frame like that,” Martinez said. “It was a big surprise.”
The motion-activated video shows the bear plodding heavily into the frame, making a bed on the forest floor, before settling down. He does the most adorable poses during his nap, then wakes up around noon.
Martinez has been tracking this particular bear – named Wilford – since 2019. He is distinguished from other black bears by a scar on his nose, which Martinez says was likely sustained in a fight with another bear for mating or mating. the territory.
The photographer has been setting up camera traps in the Los Angeles National Forest since 2012, initially hoping to spot mountain lions, but has also spotted dozens of bears in the valley.
(Courtesy of Robert Martinez)
Black bears appear during mating season in spring and summer, before disappearing from sight most other times of the year. They mark territory as a means of communication with other nearby bears.
“They like to rub against the trees,” Martinez said. “They feel the friction, which means they rub their backs on it and scratch their backs, their heads; they will turn around and kiss the tree. Wilford scratched the tree.
They let other male bears know, “This is my territory, beware,” he added. His surveillance cameras saw successively several males, growling and making sounds, while following females.
Besides black bears and cougars, Martinez has recorded bobcats, deer, and other species of wildlife.
Through his photography he hopes to raise awareness of wildlife, he said, by showing ‘what animals do when no one disturbs their territory, undisturbed, unfragmented habitat – that’s what you see’ .
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