Now that the salmon are starting to return to Brooks River, the bears are coming into Brooks Falls to fatten up. The Katmai Bear Cam is getting to be a little more interesting of late too.
There are approximately 2200 brown bears within the boundaries of Katmai National Park & Preserve at any given time. The Alaska Peninsula has more bears as residents than people. Most of the bears that come to Brooks Falls are numbered, as a way to keep track of them. Many of the regular bears receive names from the rangers and biologists that study them.
The oldest known bear in the park, is Bear #410, she carries the nickname “Four-Ton”. A 29 year old female. Four-Ton is one of the largest females in the park. When the salmon are running, 410 is fishing, and she doesn’t care who is around. She often fishes in the midst of large males, and she doesn’t seem to be bothered by people either.
For fans of the Bear Cam, Bear #480 is a favorite. Fondly known as “Otis”, 480 is the oldest known male bear in the park at 22 years old. Otis just recently returned to the falls, and was seen catching a nice salmon and taking it back to his island to eat in peace. He is known for having the most efficient salmon catching technique of the Brooks Falls regulars.
The first spring cubs of the year have shown up for fishing lessons.
There’s a new bear in town, and he has been saddled with the number 503. Look at those claws.
Bear #634 has also returned to Brooks River. Known as “Popeye”, 634 is an aggressive bear, and is known to steal fish from smaller bears.
It should be noted, that 2018 is the 100th Anniversary of Katmai National Park. Happy birthday!
Photos credit: Katmai National P&P