The two viewing stands used by Grizzly Bear Lodge on our wildlife tours in Knight Inlet seem to attract bears. They show no fear of the red and orange suited guests or the click of cameras as they pass beneath the stands. The main attraction is salmon. The grizzly bears have a limited time to add enough fat to survive hibernation. Once the salmon arrive in mid August and we are permitted to use the stands after August 24th we view bears eating salmon. If cubs do not add enough fat they will not survive hibernation and if expectant mothers body fat is not high enough the fertilized eggs will be absorbed and fewer cubs will be born for the next year. Pausing to see the roses does not seem to be an option for grizzly bears this time of the year.
The grizzly bear tour from the lodge travels up Knight Inlet to the viewing stands on the Glendale River. It is estimated that there are close to fifty bears in the Glendale River valley and they come to this area to feed on the pink salmon that arrive in late August and travel up the rive to the man made spawning channel. The viewing stands overlook this spawning area and the grizzly bears come to fish, eat and fatten up for their winter hibernation. If one was to attract human attributes to the grizzly one might speculate that this bear was thinking “If I close my eyes maybe these humans will be gone when I open them.” or “If I can’t see them they can’t see me.” All in all the bears are very tolerant of our presence and we are ignored unless someone forgets to turn off their camera flash, makes a load noise or sudden movements. Just pretend you child or grandchild has just gone to sleep and you do not want to wake them, talk quietly and move slowly.