Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A little bit of the Anan Wildlife Observatory

One of the biggest attractions of this part of the hidden gem is the Anan Wildlife Observatory which I won't go into too much detail about in this post.  I'll post more about it in the future once I am able to get some more photos.
It was just a really good day down there yesterday after a slow start in the morning, then around 11 a.m., BAM!, bears all over!  Three young adult sibling brown bears, black bears with cubs, a brown bear with a cub, confrontations on the trail, fun, fun, fun!!!

The bears are at Anan because of these fish, pink salmon or humpies or humpback salmon.  These poor fish have to struggle up some powerful waterfalls in order to reach their spawning grounds occasionally taking a respite in the calmer eddies where they get snatched by a patient and hungry bear. 

I guess it is just a natural condition of living things in general, but when a resource is plentiful and seemingly infinite, it is too easy to take it for granted and maybe not be the most efficient in its use.  Later in the summer when the bears are getting fat and satiated, they will usually only eat the brains and eggs of the fish, the parts with the highest fat content.  Fortunately, this wasteful eating just leaves food for the eagles, gulls, crows, ravens, and less fortunate fishing bears so it all works out!  Nature, what an amazing system!

Black bear cub in a tree.

Adult black bear wondering what I'm doing.

A 4 year old male brown bear, one of 3 siblings who grew up at Anan and are now on their own roving like a gang of teenagers looking for trouble.  He is going to get pepper sprayed soon I think, he is getting a little too cocky and needs to learn the rules.  These 3 were fun to watch as they fished close together for awhile and displayed some affection for each other.  I'm pretty sure his two siblings are sisters, one of them has a fishing technique unique to Anan where she goes completely underwater chasing fish.  She will disappear completely for several seconds and makes me think of a hippopotamus as she walks along the creek bottom.  She has done this since she was a small cub and is the first bear to fish in this way that we have seen at Anan.
For all of the fear mongering and bear mauling reports in the news, they are really interesting and by far usually seek to avoid conflict with humans and with fellow bears.  They can be incredibly funny, clumsy, and goofy.

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