When I first learned about spirit bears it soon became a dream of mine to photograph these amazing creatures. As luck happened, Keltie and I got in on a last-minute cancellation for a spirit bear trip that was happening that fall. We ended up staying, with the guardian of the Great Bear Rainforest, Marvin Robinson, in his native settlement for a week, and from there he would take us out daily into this lush boreal rainforest by boat to various islands. Marvin has known these bears since they were born and they too know him and his safe energy, trusting he would never allow anything dangerous to happen to them. In doing so, Marvin doesn’t allow any guns, bear spray or deterrents, and has never had an incident happen on any of his tours. Due to his years of knowledge and living in the area we hoped this would increase our chances of seeing a spirit bear. Much to our surprise, we not only saw one, but we actually saw 4 different spirit bears during our week there! Often spending hours with them as they scoured up and down the stream, right in front of us, in search of salmon. This particular day was an amazing opportunity, as I watched 3 spirit bears fishing in the stream at one time! Unfortunately, I could only get 2 of them into my viewfinder at any one time, but being able to capture this image of “Ma’ah” and “Warrior” together truly was a memory I’ll never forget!
- Stan Masters
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