This photo from late August with a mother grizzly and cub in synchronized walking was taken at the viewing stands on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River. The lodge is permitted on the stands after August 24th each year. This is timed to be several weeks after the spawning salmon have arrived in the river and gives the bears time to return to the area to fish. By looking at the lack of belly on this female grizzly she and her cub need to put on allot of fat if they are going to survive the winter. A grizzly will lose up to 40% of its body fat during hibernation so they must start with extra fat to survive.
Not the sharpest picture but it was taken in mid September to show a black bear with enough fat to hibernate. This bear is big enough to challenge a sub-adult grizzly. Several years ago there was a large black bear that did just that for the first part of the viewing season in the Glendale River estuary, the main area for observing grizzly. The first part of the season is mostly mothers with new and one year old cubs and some three and four year old grizzlies. The black bear mentioned managed to claim its part of the beach until one of the breeding male grizzly appeared and that was the last we saw of the black bear. It is interesting to note that the bear in this picture does not have access to the salmon rivers because of the grizzlies so its bulk is from grass, beach protein and berries. Once the berries appear in June they last through the fall. There are a variety of berries including; huckleberry, salmonberry, blackberry, salal berry, thimbleberry, and elderberry all within a short walk from the lodge.