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Alaska - Katmai NP and the Foothills of the Alaska Range

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You have to be alert when photographing Brown Bears (Ursus arctos).  These two cubs (female on the left and big boy in the middle) are about 2 and a half years old.  Almost ready form mom to cast them off, which she will probably do at the end of the summer.  They were still nursing on her though.  After their meal and a brief nap, the cubs continued lounging around.  We were photographing them for about 2 hours.  Not much action. When our group decided to move up a bit - we literally moved one step in their direction - all three immediately took notice.  Our group stepped back (three steps!).  Here the female cub seems to be encouraging her brother to step forward and "protect" the family.  Not really necessary, for a number of reasons.  Luckily they all quickly settled down after we backed off.  Respect and distance paid off for us.  The male looked a lot bigger here than he did while he was nursing.  A lesson to be alert and read the animals' body language, to listen to the guide and follow instructions immediately, and always respect your subject.  Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska.
Alert Brown Bear Family