Grizzly bear viewing on the rivers of BC’s Knight Inlet always presents opportunities for interesting photos. It is rare to see a grizzly standing with a salmon. Normally once the bear has the salmon it starts to eat immediately so it can get back to fishing for the next salmon. This bear seems in good shape but it still has long legs. The long legs means that it does not have the barrel of a fat belly that bears get when they are closer to hibernation that make their legs appear to be short and stumpy. Being that this photo was taken at the end of August with two more months to fatten it is more likely that this bear’s stomach is full for the day. Being that it has been eating sedge grass for most of the summer its stomach has not stretched to accommodate the larger meals.
The grizzly bears of Knight Inlet’s Glendale River spend a great deal of time in the river estuary before the salmon arrive. In the spring and early summer they are feeding on sedge grass and turning over rocks along the shore to enhance their diet. When the first few salmon start to arrive in mid-August the bears are in the lower river that we are able to access with our flat bottom shallow draft skiff. These two grizzly bears seem to be on guard looking for the few salmon that are starting to enter the river. Back to back they have the full 360 degrees cover to make sure they spot any salmon trying to get up river.
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