The battle to be King of Katmai.
These are brown bears in the Alaska Peninsula's Katmai National Park and Preserve. An estimated 2,200 brown bears call this place their home—more than any other national park in the world. Katmai provides some of the greatest viewing habitat for bears, attracting scientists who want to study bears in their natural habitat, and allowing visitors to enjoy some of the best bear watching opportunities in the world.
Because tourism plays an active role in funding Katmai, rangers, scientists, and visitors work together to maintain a fragile balance. The goal is to observe the bears in their natural habitat, so the National Park Service reccomends that all travelers educate themselves on remaining safe in bear country, and maintain a large distance to help keep the bears wild. Never underestimate a brown bear's power: they can run at speeds of up to 37.3 mph (60 km), while Usain Bolt set a record top human speed of only 27.8 mph (44.7 kph), so you have very little chance to outrun a bear in a straight line.
At Brooks Camp on Brooks River, brown bears congregate to feed on sockeye salmon. There are 3 main wildlife viewing platforms along the river to provide safe viewing opportunities while keeping visitors safe. Here, the bears wait patiently along the banks or sometimes wade into the river, and keep an eye out for salmon in hopes of catching on or a few.
Fights usually only occur between males. Males have territories roughly 200-500 sq. mi (500-1300 sq. km) in area, but some maintain territories as large as 1,615 sq. mi (4,180 sq. km). A male's territory defines which females he can mate with (there are usually several within a single territory), and defines his feeding grounds. However, these home ranges often overlap and boundaries aren't always enforced.
Brown bears are typically reluctant to fight, but when they do there can only be one winner.
Featured | @josh.paluh
Location | Brooks Camp, Katmai National Park & Preserve, King Salmon, Alaska
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