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Meet the bears

Sorry no bloggie. We is in Alaska, and as YE ALL KNOW, the Intarnets up hereabouts are a SERIES OF TUBES! And, I guess they get clogged.

So, anyways, some silly videos from the first couple days. We're in Anchorage right now, right down the street from the Ted Stevens Airport yay! But, we just got back from Brooks Lodge, which is located in the middle of Katmai National Park.

What's the attraction? I tell ya what, BEARS! And lots of them!



This is actually one of the first bears we saw. She's swimming around (they call it "snorkeling" and caught a fish, so she hightails it up the bank right next to us to nom! It was so keen!



This vid is just to prove, OMG SO CLOSE!

Anyways, we gots more photos, but the point of this post is that, after a couple days of this, we felt like we were a couple of seasoned Bear Wranglers or something. Despite the fact that these are amongst the largest predators in North America (the male can weigh nearly a ton) they didn't seem much interested in people. 'Cause, there's tons of nommy fish and berries and fishermen and other lower forms of life.

So, we (Mr. Tiki and ourselves) decided to venture up to the famous-er observation deck, up in the woods. If you've EVER seen any nature programs in your life, you've probably seen this one - it's the place where the salmon try to jump up a waterfall while herds of bears bat them out of the air. And, kajillion photographers snap pictures. Now, thing is, that's back in July, during one type of salmon run. This is late August, so there's not much activity up here. So, we were pleased, after walking up the lonely trail (and keeping up a frantic conversation the whole way, as supposively mindless chatter repels brown bears), to see one lone bear posted very picturesquely adjacent the waterfall. Mr. Tiki took kajillion pix, as is his wont, and we waited and waited for the idjit to come out into the sun so I could get some video with my crummy camera.

Now, remember, we waited like an hour in the cold, and the most we saw this guy do was nod his head, up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down. There was one other guy up there with us, but he finally had to leave to catch his plane, so it was just the two of us alone in the woods. We had decided that maybe he was actually a Disney animatronic bear, cleverly put out there so tourists wouldn't feel disappointed in the off season. Well, then, suddenly, Mr. Bear (or Miss Bear - there wasn't a ranger handy to give us the scoop) wandered into the lighty part of the stream.

I immediately jumped down to the lower platform for some tasty, tasty video footage.



At which point, the bear suddenly decided that CHARGING THE FISH was a rilly great idea. I mean this, he'd barely moved for hours dude, and then when I get closer, this half ton ball of muscle and claw suddenly decides to act abso-fucking-lutely barking mad. Later, a ranger assured us that NO bears this season will bother to charge a fish. It just takes too much energy, and the fish are right about to spawn and die! But you can see, at the end of the video, that's the railing of the viewing platform (to see how close I was) and he kinda stops and *stares* at me! And just remember, even though I was actually up on the platform, in order to get back to civilization, or at least proximity to rangers who carry sidearms, we had to get *off* the platform and wander down a mile-long windy trail through the woods, criss-crossed with bear trails all the way.

I could only conclude, some bears are assholes.

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avalonjones
Sep. 2nd, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
I love the first video: I CAN HAZ FISH NAO! And yikes, that was scary when the bear in the last video went galumphing along! I probably would've peed my pants in fear.

Have you ever seen that "Grizzly Man" movie? I'd kind of like to see it someday.
tikistitch
Sep. 2nd, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
OK, so, the topic of Grizzly Man came up so much this weekend, it could be a whole post. Suffice to say, despite the *insane* level of interaction between mildly retarded human beings and North Amerca's largest predator, this park has had only a SINGLE fatality - Grizzly Man. Yep, this is where that dingbat got et by bears.

My boss saw the movie and told me about it. I'm not watching it. Never.

Oh, and also also? The bears here? Are NOT Grizzlies. They're brown bears, but Grizzlies are actually smaller. And meaner.
avalonjones
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
And my next question was gonna be, what kind of bears these were, because they didn't really look like grizzlies to me.

There was a TV show here that I saw sometime last year talking about how there's this one part of Japan up in the mountains where black bears are starting to do things like wander into peoples' garages at night and devour their supply of dog food. They had a night-vision cam set up, and this black bear just sort of comes in (of course there are no doors to prevent this sort of thing, the garage was just kind of a glorified 3-sided shed) and starts chowing down on the dog food, and the dog, who is behind a door with a big window in it, is going apeshit barking like crazy but the bear is all, "La dee da, I don't care what you say, I'm gonna eat your food!"


Edited at 2009-09-02 10:14 pm (UTC)
tikistitch
Sep. 3rd, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
Weeeeellllllll... According to various Ranger Dudes, they're all Brown Bears (in the species) but they guys who live in Katmai are neither Grizzlies nor Kodiac bears. Although, all being the same species, they seemed to think the only difference was basically "branding." That is, so you can sell a hunting license so a guy can bag a "Kodiak bear." Even though they're not much different.

Grizzlies don't have salmon available to them. So they subsist on berries. So, they're smaller, plus being vegetarians makes them all pissed off. Or so they say.
avalonjones
Sep. 3rd, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
plus being vegetarians makes them all pissed off. Or so they say.

LOL--the last person I knew who was a militant vegetarian was one of the most unpleasant people I've ever had the pleasure (?) to have known, so I would support this theory!
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