Postcard from Alaska – Black Bear

A young black bear, well known to the staff of the Mendenhall Glacier visitor center, is attempting to catch salmon in Steep Creek, just below the visitor center parking lot. He was not too good at it, lots of splashing and no fish to show for the effort. The fish were there, bright red sockeye salmon busy spawning in the stream bed. This was this bear’s first year on his own, still learning the skills of survival.

Yes, I was really this close to the bear, this was a shot with a standard lens, no telephoto. Fortunately there was a small bridge over the creek to provide a slightly safer vantage point. The bear showed no interest in the gathering crowd of sightseers on the bridge, concentrating on the salmon.

Black Bear
A young Black Bear (Ursus americanus) trying his luck at fishing in Steep Creek, near Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, 31 July 2006