Bears of the McNeil River

by Mark Hardgrave

"Luther" yawns after eating many salmon during the day.  "Luther" is just below the lower viewing pad at McNeil.  At the lower pad the bears can get really close to the photographers.  Bears walk by as close as several veet on their way past the viewing pad.  The group would switch between the upper viewing pad and the lower every vew hours.  This gives everyone a chance to get really close to the bears if the want.  The weather changes at McNeil almost hourly.  When it would get overcast I would switch to Kodak E200 film.

Mother and cub often fish together, but the cub may not always get something to eat.  Here, "Mouse" carries the fish while her cub "Annette" tries to take the fish for herself.  Later I got a shot of "Annette" catching a fish on her own and running like heck to get the chance to eat the fish by herself.  The gull in the background will hang around and get the scraps it there are any left.  Sometimes we would see eagles hanging around to get a snack.

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