Archive for brown bear
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.
This is a photo of the bear we named “Cheetah” on the first day I met her. (We were to become good friends). When her fur is dry, she is one of the lightest colored grizzly bears I’ve ever seen. Cheetah walked up to us, curious but never ever aggressive. She was a grizzly who was very comfortable around people, but quite cranky around other bears. Her large size and attitude allowed her to bully other bears who invaded her personal space.
Here’s a photo of “Hopper” the problem male we encountered one summer. He really didn’t like people, and made his sentiments quite clear by hopping at us, or bluff charging us a few times. All that was needed to get him to back off was clapping our hands, and shouting “no” while stepping towards him. As soon as we stepped towards him – a sign of dominance – he relaxed and stopped bothering us.
He was the only bear that has ever bluff charged us, and it is a good reminder to always carry safety equipment when out with grizzly bears. Bears are all individuals, with the potential to harm a human. Although most grizzlies in Katmai ignore humans, you must carry protection in case you encounter a rare individual who does not like humans. We always carry hand held marine flares to scare off a bear. We always camp behind an electric fence, and I also pack bear spray, and bear bangers which is a device to make a really loud noise. Flares are the best choice however.