January 27, 2017

Friday Funny 01/27 (Bears)

Send more tourists, this one got away!

This is Binky, he lived at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. In July of 1994, a tourist decided that she wanted to get closer to the bear and climbed past the first barrier. The bear grabbed her leg, and eventually ended up with just her shoe. The tourist ended up in the hospital with a broken leg, and bite wounds. This incident spawned T-shirts, buttons, and world-wide attention. 

This gives you an idea of how large they actually are.

Whew, scarey! My brother works in security in the Alaskan North Slope oilfields, one of his first jobs was to be the polar bear lookout for the people working there.


Actually, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Advice from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

In the Rare Event of an Attack

If a bear makes contact, you have two choices: play dead or fight back. The best choice depends on whether the bear is acting defensively or is seeking food.
  • Most brown bear attacks are a defensive response. Play dead in defensive situations: Hit the ground and lie still if a brown bear you have surprised or any female bear protecting cubs makes contact. Lie flat on your stomach, legs spread apart for stability, with your hands protecting the back of your neck. A defensive bear usually ends its attack if it feels you are not a threat. Remain motionless for as long as possible. If you move, and the bear sees or hears you, it may return and renew its attack. In a prolonged attack, fight back.
  • Fight back in other situations: Rarely, lone black bears or brown bears may perceive a person as potential food. Fight any bear that has been calmly focused on you and makes contact or that breaks into a tent or building. In almost all situations, your best defense against an attacking black bear is to fight back. Concentrate on the bear’s face or muzzle with anything you have on hand.

Good info

In 2012, Bill and I visited Katmai National Park and Preserve. It's an experience that remains one of our top trips ever. You have to confirm your trip the day that National Parks opens it up for internet bookings [usually in early January each year...] and be ready hit your enter button immediately. That's how popular it is. The whole story is worthy of it's own blog post I suppose. Here's some highlights.

We stayed in the campground which is surrounded by an electric fence. Not bear proof, but bear deterrent.

Bill finishing setting up our Trango 3 tent. [A favorite among those who climb Denali...]
He's wearing a Original Bug Shirt to protect from the mosquitoes. [It works! Get these on Amazon...]

Looking out at Naknek Lake.

The walk out to the "Falls" platform is about a mile, through the forest, and then onto a boardwalk, to a raised platform at the Brooks River.

Bears try different techniques to catch fish.

You can imagine we have thousands of photos. Bear here, are conditioned to a human presence. They know that if a human is in proximity, that you will back up, and away, to let them pass. They don't even look at you, or pay any attention, it was surreal to be so close, and yet the bear seemed oblivious to you. There are park rangers ALL over, to ensure tourists don't approach, get close, or do any of the stupid things we are capable of. This type of behavior is NOT the way bears act in the "wild".

When we hand out Bear Spray canisters, we remind you that "Bears like condiments too!"

Thirty miles southeast of Wrangell, just across the southern tip of the island, is another bear viewing area, Anan Wildlife Observatory. You still need a permit to visit, since they only allow so many on the platform at a time, but it's less controlled since it is a smaller area. This is one of the few places that black bears, and grizzlies can be seen fishing together. We usually take our summer guests there for the experience. Yes, we have thousands of photos of bears here also.

Momma and baby.

Whenever we have visited Denali National Park and Preserve, we have seen grizzlies. These bears are not as large, due to the lack of protein in the area. Still impressive.

Bears (seen from the bus), and Denali, what could be better?

Come to Alaska; we'll show you bears!


  1. Ha ha ha. I look forward to the Friday Funny, but this one really hit home because I love bears! Have a great weekend.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    1. Thanks, I have so much fun writing them. Good luck with your photo contest entry, I can see that you do love bears!


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