Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Napping Bears - McNeil River Sanctuary, Alaska

In July, Alaska’s McNeil River Falls is busy with large brown bear (grizzly) traffic. Chum Salmon return to the McNeil River during a short period of time and so do a large numbers of bears that gather at the falls to feast. It is action packed at McNeil River Falls during the salmon season with over two dozen bears fishing, feasting, and occasionally fighting.

In the middle of the chaos some bears find time to take a nap! This large bear came down to the river, waded into the current, and climbed up on the rock in the middle of the river… then laid down. He fell asleep in about a minute.

The rushing water flows over the rock but he doesn’t seem to be care. He occasionally tosses and turns but still slept for several hours…

Meanwhile, other bears fish only a few feet away…

And some other bears are feasting right behind him…

He is still comfortably sleeping at the same spot. Looks like he is having a good dream…

After many hours, he finally rolled on his back, and lazily moved his legs… time to wake up.

Well, that bear wasn’t the only one napping in the middle of the fishing scene.

This handsome bear fell asleep at the spot where he fished and ate, in the calm water right above the falls.

Even a large dominant bears look cute and cuddly while sleeping.

This large bear finished fishing for the day and came up from the river, then laid down right by the gravel pad where a group of us were sitting! He was comfortably taking a nap only a few feet away from humans! The ranger guide assured us he was fine. The guide knows many of the individual bear's comfort zone… What an experience having that large bear, the size of a van, sleeping right behind us!

I still have many bear images from McNeil River Falls, maybe 2 more posts? Please check back in 2 week!