Watch grizzly bear drama unfold on live webcams
The grizzlies at Katmai National Park and Preserve are keeping rangers busy, and you can get in on the action by watching explore.org's cameras.
Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 01:21 PM
It's been a busy month at Brooks Camp in Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve, one of the top grizzly bear-viewing destinations, and viewers can view much of the action live, thanks to a series of live, high-definition webcams.
July 1 was a particularly stressful day for rangers when a cub was separated from its mother near the mouth of the Brooks River.
That morning, the cub climbed a tree near Brooks Lodge, disrupting camp activities.
"When a bear climbs a tree, it won't climb down until it no longer feels threatened," wrote Michael Fitz, a park ranger at Katmai, in a blog post. "Having a lone cub treed in camp with no mother to be found was unprecedented."
Rangers hoped the cub's mother would follow its scent to the tree, but she never showed.
Finally, around 8 p.m. the cub climbed down, found its way back to the river and began to bawl, a sound cubs make when they're hungry or trying to get their mother's attention.
The bawling caught the attention of an adult bear, who swam across the river toward the cub.
Rangers were unsure if what the adult bear's intentions were, but were delighted to learn it was actually the cub's mother. After a 10-hour separation, mother and child were reunited. (Watch a video of their reunion here.)
On that same day, another ranger discovered the body of a healthy grizzly named Tundra.
Rangers are unsure what events led to Tundra's death, but they think it's likely she was killed by another bear.
"Each bear you see on the bear cams is competing with others to survive," Fitz wrote in another blog post. "[Tundra] apparently encountered a competitor that she couldn't overcome or avoid."
Several live webcams are situated around Brooks Camp, thanks to nonprofit media organization explore.og.
Grizzlies flock to the area each year to catch salmon that spawn in the creeks and rivers, and as many as 30 bears have been spotted on camera.
There are currently two webcams, which are powered by solar and wind power, in operation, but explore.org will set up additional cameras during the summer and fall.
On explore.org, viewers will find highlights from the cameras, as well as special interviews and educational sessions hosted by Wood and other bear experts.
"A trip to Katmai National Park is a once in a lifetime event for most people and for nature and bear lovers and children everywhere, it is an impractical proposition," Fitz said. "By installing live cams we are giving people the chance to experience the bears, learn from their behaviors and develop the same strong emotional connection almost everyone who comes here has."
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