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Summer means momma bears are forcing yearling cubs out on their own

Bear cubs stay with their mothers for the first year and a half of their lives, but then it's time for both mom and babies to move on.

It's time for empty nesting across the mountains.

You may start to see more young black bears traveling solo, and that's because this is the time when mother bears are kicking the yearlings out on their own.

Cubs usually spend a year and a half with their moms, and they are generally good mothers. But when that second summer rolls around, it's time for the yearlings to go out and fend for themselves.

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It can be a brutal separation when mom turns on her cubs to cut them loose, especially when they aren't quite full grown, but nature says they are ready.

"It's splitting time so they can be okay and be on their own. Unless you see one that's severely emaciated, then it could use some help," said Coy Blair, lead curator at Appalachian Bear Rescue.

If you see a bear that looks like it is in trouble, call in the experts. TWRA wildlife officers or Appalachian Bear Rescue are trained in how to react.

Another reason that mother bears want to push the kids out of the nest this time of year is because it is also mating season. So once she's back on her own, she can find a new mate and hopefully produce a new litter of cubs this winter.

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