On October 3rd, I visited B.C.’s Bute Inlet to watch grizzly bears fattening up for hibernation by eating freshly caught salmon. The visit was during the spawning of chum salmon, so the grizzlies were predating a different species of salmon than those found around Kootenay Lake. I watched about a dozen bears catch and eat salmon. Here are two.
A female grizzly bear catches a salmon in the shallows of a river flowing into Bute Inlet. The fish is still very much alive and is struggling.
The bear carries the struggling fish to the shore, or at least to the really shallow waters.
The grizzly lays the now dead (?) fish at the water’s edge. Meanwhile, another bear approaches. At first I thought that there would be a clash, but it turned out that the other bear was the female’s cub.
Mother and child examine the fish.
Then eating begins.
Mother tears the fish apart and they both eat.
“OK, that is finished, let’s find another.”
Wonderful – thank you
How do you get to a remote place like that? A chartered boat from Campbell River or Cortez Island, either way a fair distance and cost. Or a float plane. Are there scheduled charters?
Doug, we took a scheduled tour from Campbell River. It was about two hours by boat to get to Bute Inlet, but the conditions one encounters there are pristine.
A Thanksgiving feast?
Thanks for sharing this amazing encounter. So amazing.