September 19, 2019
It’s that time of the year when we grin and “bear it.” At Alaska’s Katmai National Park & Preserve, the 2,000 resident brown bears are beefing for their winter hibernation, as can be seen on the world-famous Brown Bear Cams—including the Brooks Falls Cam, the Lower River Cam, and The Riffles cam, which have been installed at the 4 million acre remote wildlife habitat.
An outstanding seasonal migration of salmon is the reason why the bears gather in such abundance at this park—and add pounds aplenty starting in September.
The cameras show a social and lively population, each bear with its own individual quirks. Mike Fitz, a former Katmai park ranger, comments, “We continue to see the stories of individual bears unfold along the river. Bear 402 utilizes her two decades of experience to raise her three yearlings while one young bear, 719, is experiencing motherhood for the first time.
“At Brooks Falls,” Fitz adds, “the hierarchy continues to shuffle. Bear 856, a large and assertive adult male, continues to reign at the top, but he’s nearly 20 years old. How long will he be able to maintain his position as the river’s most dominant bear?”
In addition to sharing Katmai with millions of Bear Cam viewers worldwide, the park also is looking forward to hosting its Fifth Annual Fat Bear Week contest in early October.
Mike Fitz, founder of Fat Bear Week, recently observed, “Overall the bears who use Brooks River appear fat and healthy. I thought Fat Bear Week 2018 might be the fattest Fat Bear Week ever, but the “contestants” could beat that this year! Some already look ready to hibernate.”
To vote, starting in early October, visit facebook.com/katmainpp
Research contact: @KatmaiNPS