Sunday, January 2, 2011

Grizzly Mom & Her Cubs

You can see the water running off Mommy Grizzly Bear!

I never finished posting photos about our RV trip to Alaska last summer.  

So here's some wild animal photos up close and personal.  

We debated whether or not to spend around $500 to have a bush pilot fly us in where the grizzlies were fishing for salmon while we were in Valdez, Alaska.  But since there was no guarantee that grizzlies would be seen during the trip we decided against it.   

The next town we visited was Haines, Alaska, a tiny working class southeastern Alaskan coastal town.   Imagine our surprise - upon checking in at the campground - to find out from the campground host that there is a nearby park by the river that the grizzly bears visit when the salmon is in season.  It is a short drive of about 10 to 15 minutes to the park from the campground.  We visited the park three times and saw two mom grizzlies with their cubs twice.  

This is one of the Mom grizzlies the park service is keeping tabs on (see the monitor around her neck) - she has twin cubs.  We never thought we would ever be thisclose to grizzlies!  

Isn't she a beauty!

The park road runs parallel to the river and we parked on the side of the road and walked up to a group of people watching the grizzlies just yards away by the river bank.  There was a female park ranger who watched the interface of the bears and the people making sure we didn't get too close and especially that no one got between the mom and her cubs.  

Mom Grizzly in the river with one of her cubs on the bank.  Isn't the white ring on the baby's neck cute?

Mom grizzly and cute is this?

Grizzly cubs playing on the river bank while Mom fishes.

Play time on the river bank!

When Mom is done fishing she leads her cubs across the park road up into the mountain side.

This guy wasn't paying any attention to the park ranger.

This grizzly bear sighting was a highlight of our trip to Alaska the summer of 2010.  And it was free!  

While the group was hurrying to keep up with the grizzlies as they moved down stream I heard someone fall down hard behind me as I was taking videos.  But I didn't look to see who it was and just kept moving with the group so I wouldn't miss out on any grizzly photo ops.  

Later, after the bears had left and we were getting into our truck my hubby said to me "Did you know I fell down?"  Here it was my hubby who fell on the uneven pavement, torn a hole in his pants at the knee and hurt his knee too and I didn't even bother to look.  

I felt so badly.  

But don't worry he is fine now.    

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  1. That is so cool, Sandy!! Wow. What an experience for you. I would love to go to Alaska sometime. I've been at the airport in Anchorage on a layover, but that's it.

  2. What fantastic pictures. Thanks so much for sharing, Sandy! I have always wanted to go to Alaska.

  3. Sandy these are great shots you have here. You really got up close. I've never been this close to photograph bears. I have used the zoom in the yard here on a black bear. You probably used a zoom too I would imagine.
    There is something so human about bears I love them.

  4. Just beautiful up and close photos! Wow! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  5. What beuatiful and rare pictures and what a memorable encounter!
    I was born in a country (Slovakia) where there is a lot of brown bears. In Denmark there are none.
    As a child, I recall, in winter we would sometime see tracks after a bear that would wake up from his winter sleep. My father always was veer weary of that as bears can be very dangerous.;)

  6. Wow, these are incredible pictures. A once in a lifetime shot. Isn't nature absolutely beautiful and touching. What memories you have.

  7. Poor hubby! What fabulous photos Sandy! Definitely a memorable encounter and vacation. Thank you for sharing them with us!

    ~ Tracy