Bears feed


After weeks of regular visits to a local creek, I managed some clear views of a family of Black Bears feeding on the bountiful Kokanee. The cubs are now old enough to catch fish on their own.

The sow and her two cubs wander alongside a creek filled with Kokanee.

Yum, yum.

The Kokanee don’t like being caught. This one tried to escape the sow, only to head towards a cub.

This reminds me of a portrait of a toddler caressing its favourite stuffed animal. 

The creek didn’t supply a doggy bag, so the sow carries away leftovers in her mouth.

“Mommy, mommy, look at me, I really did it! I caught my own fish!”

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8 Responses to Bears feed

  1. Marie says:

    Wonderful shots as always. Will this sow and cubs hibernate together this winter?

  2. Rob Dorey says:

    I have lived in New Zealand for the past 19 years. As a young lad, I was Kootenay based and used to spend a fair bit of time in Riondel. What I recall was that in the early days, the kokanee were in good numbers and of a good size. Then for years, they were very small – as I recall an issue with something in the food chain? The fish in your photos look to be a good size and like the early days. Question: has the size issue righted itself and the fish size/numbers returned to normal?

    • Alistair says:

      Rob, my understanding of this issue is tentative. However, a good run this year on the West Arm was apparently bought at the expense of a poor run on the North Arm (nutrients unused in the North became available in the West). So, I don’t think the distribution of populations has yet returned to an historical value.

  3. Travis says:

    Excellent set !!
    The last photo is really something special.

  4. derek says:

    I wonder how many fish of that size a bear cub would eat?

    • Alistair says:

      Derek, I think that at this time of year, the only reason the bears stop eating is to digest and sleep. Mind you, while the cub has now learned to catch fish, it may not yet know how to eat it. Yesterday, mommy was still tearing apart big fish and giving the cubs manageable bits (rather like a human parent cutting up the meat on a child’s plate).

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