Grizzly Bears

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August 5th 2018
Published: August 6th 2018
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Dinner TimeDinner TimeDinner Time

This bear caught his dinner on the fly.
We're in Homer, Alaska, one of my favorite places in the world. You drive down to the end of the Kenai Peninsula, down to the end of the spit, and are surrounded by water and snow covered mountains, THREE of which are active volcanoes. Everywhere you look are water, rock, and snow. After days and days of cold drizzle, we had beautiful weather for a flight in a float plane from Homer to Katmai National Park.

Our flight took us to Brooks Falls, where we spent four hours walking along trails where grizzly (brown) bears live. There are no fences and few protections for people, but the park has never had a serious incident. There are walkways, a bridge and two viewing platforms, so that you can be close to the bears. As the ranger told us when we entered the park, the bears have no interest in people. All they want to do is put on the weight they lost through last year's hibernation and to get ready for this year. The rangers keep a close eye on the bears, but their job is primarily controlling the humans.

So this post is going to be mostly pictures and
Float PlaneFloat PlaneFloat Plane

We flew over and back on a Cessna float plane. Our return was delayed an hour because one of the passengers was delayed at a bridge which the rangers close when the bears get too close. Two adolescent bears played UNDER the bridge for an hour.
captions. Enjoy!

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Salmon WaitingSalmon Waiting
Salmon Waiting

Look closely -- there are several salmon in an eddy, resting and waiting to take their chances at leaping over the falls.
Salmon at the FallsSalmon at the Falls
Salmon at the Falls

They're going right to left in the photo, trying to get up the river to spawn. The falls are a big obstacle, especially when the bears sit in the water and grab them as they come by.
The Big BoysThe Big Boys
The Big Boys

Three large adult males control access to the falls, the favored spot to catch fish.

A younger, smaller bear who knows to stay away from the falls.

Fishing is not as easy downstream, but she caught several. At this point in the year, bears are looking for maximum fat. They often bit the heads off the salmon, getting the brains and/or ate the eggs of a female salmon.
Play TimePlay Time
Play Time

We watched these two play for an hour.

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