Bears of the McNeil River

by Mark Hardgrave

There are many great photographic opportunities to photograph cubs with their mom's at McNeil.  Here is one of the many photos I have of "Teddy" and "Tuffy".  "Tuffy" got her name from her strange behavior she expresses when she is around other large males.  She will approach them without fear and stand her ground.  Biologist orginally thought "Tuffy" was a male, since the name fit they left it with her.  Mom and cub enjoy a nap just below the upper falls viewing pad.  After a tough day fishing, nothing like a nap!  Nikon F4s, Nikkor 300 mm 2.8 EDIF, Kodak E200 film.

 

Two cubs follow mom within a few feet from the viewing pad at the upper falls of McNeil.  Cubs are very cautious at the falls due to the large numbers of males fishing there.  Males will attack females and cubs to defend their fishing spots.  Fights are not unusual at McNeil, but we did not see any while we were there.  The cubs came by so close in the photo here, that I was unable to get mom in the photo.  They were right behind mom, and looking very cautiously at the male bears around them.  Nikon F4s, Nikkor 300 mm 2.8 EDIF, Fuji Provia film.

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