The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has a handful of video cameras set up on preserves to capture footage of the wildlife they protect. Earlier this month, one camera captured a particularly striking clip of a bear and her three cubs romping around Pine Mountain in Harlan County.
There are three or four cameras scattered throughout the trust’s Blanton Forest preserve, and the group hopes to eventually add more.
“We’ve caught many films of bears, but this is one of the nicer ones we’ve caught with the mother and triplets,” said Greg Abernathy, assistant director of the trust.
After being largely removed from the area, black bears have made a comeback in Eastern Kentucky in recent years. The ridges in the Pine Mountain area are thought to be the path many bears have followed back into the region.
Pine Mountain, which is nearly 180,000 acres, provides habitat for as many as 100 rare species of animals and plants, according to the trust. About 45 percent of the ridge line and 35 percent of the mountain is protected.