Posted by: Kiersten | October 16, 2010


We visited the local salmon hatchery on Friday.  We were hoping to see bears.

We did!  Two young-ish bears came plodding around the corner as we arrived.  Their body language was quite expressive.

Hey, there sure are a lot of fish here.

Let’s go get some.  I see a good spot over there.

This looks like a good spot.

Move over, I want to catch some fish!

Quit shoving!  I was here first!


I think I see one.

Oh!  Got it!

Hey, you got one already?

I want some of yours.

Go away!  It’s mine!

Ouch!  Fine!  Keep your stupid fish.

Gee those photographers are getting close.

I think I’ll move away from them.  They obviously don’t know how strong I am.

Hey, that photographer is eating something!

Dude, is that a granola bar?

(Photographer has plucked his tripod from the ground and scurried away in retreat as bear approaches.)

Hey awesome!  Chocolate!!!

Do dee do, looking for more fish. (See the fish carcass behind him?)

Where’d all the fish go?


Missed.  Maybe I can get some of that chocolate.

Nooo!  The chocolate is miiiine!

AAAAA!  I already ate it all!

No more chocolate?  Oh well.  In that case, let’s go back to fishing.

It was amazing to be able to watch this bear behaviour from such a great vantage point.  I was worried for some of the photographers’ safety; some people forget these bears are wild and we are on their turf, not in a zoo.  At one point, one guy tried to approach the river’s edge, slipped, and sent a shower of rocks crashing into the stream.  The bears startled and ran into the bush, at which point the guy yelled “SORRY!” to either the bears or the other photographers.  We figured this shout scared the bears away.

Just a reminder that most of our bears are shy by nature, and the goal of every bear-watcher should be to protect the bears from becoming desensitized to humans.  A bear without fear of people is a great danger to himself and others.  Bear-watchers, please respect these powerful creatures that share our town.

So this is what’s been walking across our front porch all summer.




  1. Great sequence of bear feeding pictures. Most people today have grown up in urban environments. Many wild animals – bears etc. are seen by youngsters as friendly cartoon characters, or seen safely from behind bars or other barriers. Common sense when dealing with all wild creatures is often absent if one has gone up in an urban environment. I always look forward to reading your blog!

  2. Thanks 🙂

    What really killed me was that the people who were trying to get the closest were those with $1500 cameras with HUGE zoom lenses – they didn’t need to get close at all! What were they trying to do, get the whites of the bears’ eyes in the shot?

    The bears’ behaviour reminded me of Mocha, who is a total food hound. That look the bear gave the photographer who was eating is the same expression I see on Mocha when I eat supper. So when I imagine my food-hound in a 500 lb body with no training and an intense pre-hibernation hunger, I think I have a good grasp on the bears’ frame of mind.

    They’re fast, too – and I think you’re right that people from urban environments wouldn’t know how fast bears can move. I remember one time I ran into a bear in the raspberry bushes back in North Bay – she went charging through the brush and thorns like it was a field of wheat. Lucky for me, she was scared and running away.

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