The coat of a grizzly bear can be from a light cream colour to a dark brown or almost black. In this case it appears almost grey with a reddish brown tinge. This colouring seems to have been passed on to the cubs. It is not uncommon to see sibling cubs with much different colouring as the females while often breed with different males so siblings may have different fathers. The grizzly’s claws come in a variety of colours including black and brown but are usually white or yellowish. As shown by this photo the front claws are longer than the back and can be up to five inches long. The longer claws are designed for digging, as one of their favourite spring foods is the skunk cabbage roots or bulbs. The long front claws also allow the grizzly to catch and hold a salmon while it is being eaten. The pink salmon are covered with an over-abundance of disease-preventing slime which make them very hard for a human to hold but the bears seem to have no problem retaining this fish. Thanks to James and Wendy from Australia for the excellent photo.
Some time one is not to sure if we are watchers or if the grizzly bears are in charge. In this case it appears that our guests Mike and Christina from Florida were caught taking the picture on the Glendale River. In the fall, after August 24, we are permitted to drive to viewing stands on the river to watch the bears feed on the salmon that have returned to the man-made spawning channel. The grizzly bears in the area have accepted our intrusion and tend to ignore us however every once in a while the tables seemed to be turned in their favour.