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Mother bear with three cubs in Katmai National Park

Brown bear, where have you gone?

By “The Artist Formerly Known as Ranger Mike” Fitz As bear sightings dwindle along Brooks River, the Bear Cams still catch periodic glimpses of single bears and a few females with cubs. However, there’s a dearth of bears at Brooks River compare to peak bear times in July and September. Fall is a season of

A younger, less dominant 856 (left) plays with 489 Ted in 2008. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Roy.

Do Bears Outgrow Play?

Bearcam often captures the playfulness of bears. We witness cubs sparring with their siblings, mother bears wrestling with their cubs, single bears toying with sticks and logs, and even adult bears partaking in friendly scraps. Recently, bearcam has captured two bears, 151 Walker and 503 Cubadult, play fighting in Brooks River. We see bear cubs

Otis waits for salmon / pic by Ranger Jeanne Roy

Do Bears Fish Brooks Falls in September?

By “The Artist Formerly Known as Ranger Mike” Fitz In September and October, Bear 480 Otis makes a living from his office in the far pool at Brooks Falls, catching unsuspecting salmon that swim within reach. This year in particular, several other bears have joined him at the falls and all are fishing more or

Is it wrong to connect with individual wild animals like 480 Otis? NPS/M. Fitz.

Why National Parks Can’t Ignore Individual Animals

By Katmai NP Ranger Mike Fitz Individual animals are undoubtedly important to the public (just read about Cecil the Lion) and their stories can be a catalyst for change, but a recent Yellowstone Science article, I Am Not a Scientist, calls this a “myopia.” It describes how a focus on individual animals limits our ability

A cub lays between mom #451 and sibling

Ranger Mike on the Emotion and Resiliency of Bears

Since last night viewers have tuned in to the young cub of mother bear 451 on the Katmai River Watch Cam. We don’t know much yet, but it would appear the cub stumbled and seized, and now has labored breathing, laying on the road side. Mother and sibling have intermittently joined to rest next to

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