Brown bears - Halo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska Got one! And, with an explosion of caviar too...
The pink exploding from the salmon are the eggs. These won't make it up the river to spawn but they're highly rich in calories for the bears and a much-needed meal for her.
This particular shot was taken as "mean Momma" fished. She had been fishing for a quite some time and she was doing well having caught a few fish. We labeled her "mean Momma" as she wouldn't feed her cub any of her catch. With food in her paws, she often turned away from her cub. And, while watching her, she'd often stray quite far from her cub - leaving it crying out for her on the beach. She did redeem herself toward the end of the day when she shared her fifth fish with her cub. Then, she nursed him. Was she just so hungry that she needed to eat in order to keep nursing her cub? Her cub was very small. I hope the rest of the season was bountiful and they both had plenty to eat; our guides felt that the cub had little hope of surviving the winter.
These shots were taken in August 2010 over a family holiday in Alaska. After seeing bears in Denali National Park and at a few stops along the parks road from Denali down to Anchorage, we thought - wow, it can't better than this. We were VERY wrong! We stayed in Homer for only three nights and two days and they were the most consistently sunny and beautiful days of our trip. We had arranged a flight-seeing trip out to Katmai National Park (from Homer) where we landed on the beach and then hiked in to the river deltas where brown bears were hunting for salmon. The biggest precaution was that we weren't allowed to pack salmon sandwiches so the bears wouldn't be interested in us. And, they weren't. We never felt threatened or unsafe and we could have watched them for days. Instead, we had only a few hours with them.
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