It’s fishin’ season.
The brown bears of Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve — the same bears of Fat Bear Week internet fame — are currently devouring the skin, flesh, and brains of 4,500-calorie sockeye salmon. The bounties of migrating fish attract an exceptional gathering of bears at Katmai’s Brooks River. The final week of July 2021 is burgeoning with activity: It’s a superb opportunity to tune into the dynamic livestream, beamed from a remote part of the Alaskan Peninsula.
Bears young and old congregate at the river’s waterfall, Brooks Falls, in July. It’s an ideal place for bears to catch salmon, as the fish run into a natural “roadblock” that slows their migration. The energetic salmon must repeatedly try to leap over the waterfall. Meanwhile, the bears feast on crowds of fish.
“Bear Insanity at Brooks Falls right now!!!” explore.org tweeted on Sunday night.
Brown bears, except mothers with cubs, live mostly solitary lives, so the annual July congregations are exciting events. Spend some time bear watching, and you’ll undoubtedly witness some of these behaviors :
Come August, many bears seek out other rivers with later salmon runs. But in September, brown bears return to Katmai’s Brooks River in large numbers to feast on the remains of dead or dying salmon. By October, the bears will be fattened up, sometimes to ridiculous degrees, for their long, harsh winter hibernation.