After a bit of an absence, the brown bears of Katmai National Park have returned! In this post, I am featuring photos of some handsome creatures while they are standing or walking through the waterways.
There are two things that amazed me while observing the bears. First of all, the bears all looked so different from each other! You would think that they would look similar and all have a burly build, round heads, and dark fur. Not so! In this post, you can see some of the variety of bears that hail from the Brooks Falls area.
The other amazing thing was the agility of these large animals. They can walk and stand in strong rivers, and their thick footpads securely grip the slippery rocks. This chunky fellow was one of the senior bears that were routinely stationed at the base of the waterfall. He held a position close to the falls and didn’t seem adversely impacted by the strong current. A recent battle scar is visible near one eye.
Later on, I spotted him taking a momentary work break and strolling downstream.
Here’s another large bear, thoroughly soaked, wading through the shallow bank area of Brooks River.
Every now and then, a bear would start charging through the water, intent on something spotted in the water. Perhaps this image makes it look like he is charging at me. But I am safely up on an observation platform and spying him through a telephoto lens.
This one was calling it quits at the fishing hole and ready to head back into the forest. He took a brief side-glance to see the latest catch at the falls. Part of the bear’s coat is drier than the rest, giving him a noticeably striped look.
I have to admit that this big brute was a bit scary. With a scowl like that, huge physique, and foaming mouth, I did not want to accidentally startle him along the trail back to the lodge. He looked like he was in a bad mood!
One striking specimen had a bit of a shaggy gold mane around its head, topped with platinum colored ears. This was one of several bears that seemed to resemble a large dog to me!
And this one was one of my favorite bears. It was very photogenic and you will be treated to more photos of it later. I am convinced that it was a female, based on a couple of close looks that I got of it.
The coat color of this bear was a rich dark chocolate with tinges of red highlights. I thought that its head resembled the structure of a large dog, especially in this particular image. But looks are deceiving and you sure don’t want to try to pet it!