“M” is for More Bears

Leaving Juneau, we headed to a favorite place to see bears on Chichagof Island for a few days.  The salmon tend to come up the stream later in the summer here, so it’s finally late enough for the bears to have been feeding for a bit.  Our warm dry summer has been hard on the fish, the fishermen, and the bears.  With fewer salmon available the bears have adopted a variety of ways to catch fish.  We watched a sow with a second year cub “snorkeling”……usually finding wounded or dead fish on the bottom.  Bears prefer female salmon – they love the roe, so when they’re getting enough to eat they sometimes abandon a male fish.  This bear was happy to eat whatever she found…

…though her cub didn’t seem to appreciate the scraps she left.Another sow was a frequent visitor to the stream with her two first year cubs.  Cubs are born in February or March, so these little tykes were only about six months old – so cute!Another bear came into the stream to fish, and the cubs tucked in close to mom just in case.The cubs got more bold as they spent time in the stream, though one cub learned the hard way that the current can be swift!This cub was trying to swim to mom and got a little panicked when it got swept downstream, but it finally got into water shallow enough to stand up in.  What’cha got there mom?  Can I have some?(It’s interesting to see bears in the water since it really shows their powerful muscles hiding under all that fur.)  The little cubs got into the shallows and found a scrap of fish of their own…  …and the young hunter was not inclined to share with its sibling!  We got to watch them play-fighting……and no matter what they did, they melted our hearts!There’s plenty more bear action to share – stay tuned.

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