Safe with Mom
As our float plane made its final approach to the Brooks Camp (Katmai National Park, Alaska), I could not believe my eyes. Just below us, on the beach was a mother (sow) grizzly bear and four cubs. The plane landed and docked on the beach about 500 feet down from the bears. I could not get to the beach soon enough to photograph this bear family. After check-in and orientation I went straight to the beach with my 500mm lens to photograph the bears. I was excited and it was a great start to a 4 day adventure photographing bears at the Brooks River in Katmai National Park.
The sows are responsible for raising of their cubs for the first 2-3 years of their lives. The male bears (boars) can be a threat, often killing cubs that get in their way. Mom is on the constant lookout for bear and human intruders.
She moves her family frequently to stay out of harms way and to find a safe haven for protection.
It was a joy to watch and photograph two families of bears as they moved about, often crossing under the raised platforms that provided the tourists and photograpers protection from the bears (and protection of the bears from the tourists). This was our second visit to the Brooks camp in ten months. Our first visit was in September 2009 and this visit was July 2010. Photographing and watching grizzly bears and cubs in the wild is one of life’s rare pleasures.
Be sure to read my other blog posts on the bears of Katmai. For the full portfolio of the bears at Katmai go to my Bears Gallery on my website:RichardSeeleyPhotogaphy.com>Grizzly Bears Gallery