Bear Cub Catches Sight of Sunlight for 'Very First Time'

A California wildlife enthusiast captured footage of a young black bear cub catching a glimpse of sunlight “for the very first time,” in South Lake Tahoe on March 20.

Stefan Sielsch, who also goes by the name of Toogee, captured footage of Betty, an adult black bear, and her eight-week-old cub emerging from hibernation.

Sielsch, a volunteer with Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and a director with the Sierra Wildlife Coalition, posted the footage to his Facebook page, which was captured by a camera he set up next to the spot where the bears were hibernating.

In the Facebook post, he said, “This will make you smile BIG TIME! In this vid you’ll see one of Betty’s cubs poke its head out into the sunlight for the very first time in its eight-week-old life.”

He added, “This, to me, is one of the Holy Grails of wildlife cam captures, and my first time to capture this.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, an estimated 25,000 to 35,000 black bears can be found in the state of California.

Footage or imagery capturing a cub emerging into the world for the first time is an extremely rare event. In 2014, Peter Mather of the International League of Conservation Photographers spoke to Mother Nature Network about his experience witnessing a mother and cub emerging out of a culvert by the side of a road for the first time, in which he described the sight as “incredible.” Credit: Stefan ‘Toogee’ Sielsch via Storyful