A few years ago, we spent an unforgettable week photographing grizzlies (aka Alaskan Brown Bears) in the Lake Clarke Nat. Park, in Alaska. We knew there would be cubs but had no idea how small they would be! At 6 months of age, they only weighed about 20 lbs/9kg and were no taller than a seagull! We were amazed how the mothers would often lay down and nurse their cubs within 100’ of us! We soon learned that the boars, the male bears, don’t like humans so they always stayed far away from us. But they were a big concern for the momma bears as the males will often kill the cubs to put the mothers back into heat. Knowing that the males wouldn’t come around us, the momma bears knew we were their safety shield and felt very much at ease nursing and interacting with their cubs while in our presence! My what smart momma bears!
Being a part of these bears’ everyday existence is a very humbling experience that stays with you forever!
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