Friday, August 26th, 2011
Face to Face: Black Bear – Human Interactions

One of the great things about living in Juneau is the ability to see wildlife. At this time of the year, it’s bear-watching season at Steep Creek near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, where Black bears can been seen daily feasting on sockeye and coho salmon at Steep Creek. According to Larry Aumiller, Alaska’s foremost bear biologist, bears become habituated to humans when they view people as a neutral part of the environment. Bears normally flee when they see people. But in some of Alaska’s most popular bear-viewing areas like at Steep Creek, bears have learned humans aren’t a problem, so they come back year after year. And cubs take cues from their parents, which means that if humans behave responsibly, generations of bears will return to the same spots for years of bear-viewing opportunities.Considering that there are hundreds of visitor at Steep Creek daily, U.S. Forest Service rangers and volunteers assist with crowd control to keep Black bears and humans safe from each other, with great success so far. May it stay that way.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011
It's Tough To Be A Black Bear Cub…

A Black bear cub that was booted out by its mother this spring rests in a cottonwood tree near Mendenhall Lake in the Tongass National Forest earlier this week. Living now on its own among older aggressive bears, I watched it pick up and starting to devour a large sockeye salmon carcass that an older bear had left behind, when yet another large bear chased it off its meal and up the tree. Needless to say it’s not easy to be at the bottom of the pecking order among the almost thirty Black bears at Steep Creek.

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011
Black Bear Feeding Frenzy On Sockeye Salmon At Steep Creek

The annual gathering of Black bears at Steep Creek near Mendenhall Lake in the Tongass National Forest is an annual salmon derby of a different kind. For a few weeks in August through September, around 20-30 bears frequent the area to feast on sockeye and coho salmon who return to Steep Creek to spawn. A network of elevated boardwalks allows for close-up views of the bears fishing for and devouring salmon. It’s a truly an amazing sight to watch.

PS: My apologies for not updating the site during the past couple of days as the site had to undergo a complete cleaning. I will resume posting images starting tomorrow Thursday, August 25, 2011. Thanks for your patience.

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Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Black Bear Cub At Steep Creek

It’s been a very wet weekend here in Juneau, and even this black bear cub looking for sockeye salmon along Steep Creek seems to long for some dry shelter.

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