Archive for animals
A healthy Alaskan ecosystem will reveal the tracks of predators. Here, grizzly tracks are bordered in fresh wolf prints. The wolf population has been growing on the coast of Katmai National Park. The wolves use the beach as a highway and they trek the coastline during the few hours of summer darkness.
Bears and wolves compete for food sources. During this past summer, guides witnessed wolves fishing for salmon alongside the grizzly bears on the Katmai coast.
Moose babies are vulnerable to predation by bears and wolves. Grizzly bears also prey on adult moose. The first summer I moved to Homer, Alaska two residents watched a grizzly bear take down and kill an adult moose in their driveway. The grizzly quickly ate the highly nutritious heart, liver and other vital organs, then fled the scene out of fear of humans.
Watch the video of this grizzly kill:
A grizzly bear viewer in Katmai N. Park watches a cub who is waiting for his mother. The mother dropped off her two cubs to sit with the small group of photographers while she fished the river for salmon. Grizzly bear mothers in certain areas of Katmai N. Park, who are habituated to bear viewers, have learned that humans are safe. They also have learned that being near bear viewers is a safe place for their cubs to rest.
Clams are an important part of the grizzly bear diet on the coast of Alaska. Bears use their amazing sense of smell to locate clams under the sand. The extreme tidal variations in Alaska allow miles of the ocean floor to be uncovered at low tide – an excellent opportunity for clamming.
He’s walking through the tall grass that borders the beach. The bears don’t eat this grass, but it does make for a good day bed or cozy place to hide. One day walking back to camp I noticed a pair of brown fuzzy teddy bear ears peeking over the tall beach grass. A few moments later, a set of liquid brown eyes popped above the grass to peek at me. He quickly popped back down deciding to stay hidden. I was always really careful when walking through the tall grass to avoid surprising a hidden bear.