Some years ago, my wife, Carolyn, and I spent a few days camping on the flanks of Mount Rainier in Washington State. When we were returning to our campsite one evening, we saw in the middle of a meadow two male bears boxing each other’s ears. We stopped to watch.
There was a hiker nearby, and I asked him what the conflict was about. “A young female,” he said.
“Where is she?” I asked.
“Oh, she left about 20 minutes ago,” he chuckled. Thus, I gathered, the conflict at this point was not about the female bear but about being the toughest bear.