Watch Alaskan brown bears hunt salmon via livestream (VIDEO)

Jun 30 2020, 4:00 pm

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? “I see people watching me on a livestream!”

Indulge in seeing beautiful brown bears in their natural element via the Bearcam at Katmai National Park in southern Alaska. The camera overlooks Brooks Falls on the Brooks River, a location that the bears of Katmai journey to once they emerge from hibernation in the spring.


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They venture to this particular spot because it is the location where sockeye salmon migrate upstream to spawn, creating ideal fishing conditions for the hungry brown bears who have gone months without eating.

“In July, most salmon are moving through large rivers and lakes where bears cannot successfully fish,” the National Park Service (NPS) explains. “Early in the salmon run, Brooks Falls creates a temporary barrier to migrating salmon. This results in a particularly successful fishing spot for bears.”

Users will see the most activity on the Bearcam in July and September as the brown bears seek to find places where they can catch the most fish while expelling the “least amount of energy,” with locations changing throughout the summer months.

July and September are particularly busy seasons for Brooks River, while August sees smaller streams reaping the most salmon, so the bears go there instead.

The Bearcam is available 24 hours a day, and viewers have the opportunities to see a variety of fishing styles that the brown bears exhibit.

Such practices include bears parking themselves at the top of Brooks Falls and waiting for fish to jump near enough to them that they can quickly scoop them up in their mouths. They will also sit in the “highly coveted ‘plunge pools,'” and patiently wait for salmon to swim by and use their paws to pin the fish to the bottom of the river or against their body. The most dominant bears use this technique, the Bearcam website explains, as the pools are described as “the bear equivalent to a Jacuzzi.”


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There is also the “snorkelling” strategy, where bears will swim along the surface of the river and submerge their faces in the water. This approach is particularly useful in the autumn months, the site continues, when dead and dying fish lie just below the surface.

Brown bears will also participate in “pirating,” in which they steal fish from other bears, commonly in the early season, when they are still hungry from hibernation.

Viewers can also observe different perspectives of the Katmai bears through other cameras installed at the lower part of the Brooks River, underwater, and at the top of Dumpling Mountain.

Emily RumballEmily Rumball

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