Grizzly bears – Brown bears, Alaska

Grizzly bears were the reason why I flew from New York to Alaska. I wanted to meet the real version of the teddy bear!

Grizzly bears or Brown Bears live like many animals with the seasons. Every year, in September, the salmon that made its way upriver to spawn, dies in those same rivers. The dying fish (that has colored red) attracts attraction from the brown bears.

So I flew out from New York, via Seattle, onwards via Anchorage to King Salmon. There I took a small seaplane that brought me to the camp of #. Before you can start roaming the National Park, which hosts 6000 bears, you must show you have been to Bear School with the National Park Service. But once that’s done, the large furry friends await!

Katmai Park in Alaska

Katmai Park hosts several thousand of grizzly bears. Rangers in the park fie a training to visitors who wish to roam the park. Bear safety is not something to take lightly. When these immense bears want, they can change and maul any human. Alaska, the largest state of the United States, is one of the few places on the planet where these animals are not under threat (so far…) . The park is managed by the US National Park Services.

Fear for the Grizzlies

There is nothing comfortable in standing eye to eye with these huge grizzly bears. When standing in a river with the camera on a tripod, there’s always the looking around to see where the next one will come from. And when there is one (or a family) it’s a matter of keeping an eye out where the grizzly family wants to go next and to make sure I’m not in their way

The bears are however efficient (lazy?) and they prefer to catch a salmon in the river than to pay attention to a weird animal standing in the river, with some very bizarre tripod that looks like a toy; not like food

These images were made on a trip through the Katmai National Park in September 2014. (all photos © 2014 Koen Blanquart)

1 reply
  1. Michael W Rickard says:

    Fantastic pictures (as always). Grizzlies look so imposing on film and in pictures, but I can’t imagine what they look like in person. Good thing they’re lazy or they would likely be many people running for their lives. Are brown bears and grizzly bears the same, Koen? I’ve had people ask about that, but I don’t know the answer. It sounds like it based on your blog, but could you clarify? You must have loved your trip to Alaska with all those wonderful pictures.

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