Of the Bear

There is one thing very strange and remarkable of this creature, which is, that no man, either Christian or Indian, ever killed a she-bear with young; for it is supposed, that after conception (...) the shebears hide themselves in most secret places till they bring forth their young (...). They have commonly three or five cubs at a time, which seem to be at first a lump of white flesh, void form, without hair or eyes, only there is some appearance of claws. This rude lump they fashion by degrees, by their constant licking. It is likewise reported that after conception they will sleep so profoundly for fourteen days that it is not possible by any means to awaken them, and that during their abode in those secret places, they never appear abroad for food, but only suck their paws, which is all they subsist upon during that time.(...) As the paws are accounted the best morsel of this creature so is the head esteemed the worst, and is therefore cast away, for the brain is is said to be poisoned.

John Brickell, 1737


From: The natural history of North-Carolina
by John Brickell ( Dublin,1737 )
page 110 to 114
http://www-gdz.sub.uni-goettingen.de/cgi-bin/digbib.cgi?PPN25346286X