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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Swim and bear it: It's all too much for tired grizzly as he rests beside a stream after hard day catching salmon under water


It's all too much for tired grizzly as he rests beside a stream after hard day catching salmon under water

Smarter than the average bear: This one checks out a waterproof camera

They are some of the most powerful carnivores on Earth, weighing up to half a ton each, and, if riled, they won’t think twice about attacking humans.

So getting up close and personal with the grizzly and brown bears of Alaska shows a degree of courage bordering on lunacy.

Without this risk-taking, Paul Sounders, a 50-year-old wildlife photographer from Seattle, would never have captured these exquisite images.

Some of the pictures were taken with the magnificient creatures just 12 inches from the camera lens.

Relaxing: The bear sniffs the air as he lies back and rests near a salmon stream

So how did Sounders avoid being eaten?

‘There are some bears who want nothing to do with people, and some who are quite tolerant — even curious,’ he explains.

Paul travelled alone to Kodiak Island in Alaska and the nearby Katmai National Park on a 22ft motor boat. For six weeks he roamed up and down 60 miles of bear-inhabited coastline.

Now which one shall I eat? The bear edges closer to the school of salmon

‘Katmai’s bears live in paradise,’ he says. ‘They have plenty of food — sedge grasses in the spring, abundant salmon and berries in the summer and autumn.

‘These bears haven’t been hunted for more than a century, and that’s the main reason they don’t fear us. We’re not a threat, we’re not food — and if you’re not a complete idiot they leave you in peace.’

The bear is perfectly at ease as it swims through the waters in search for his lunch

Majestic: It's hard to believe this impressive half-ton brown bear would have weighed just one pound when born

If you go down to the beach: A snap of a grizzly hunting salmon by moonlight

source: dailymail


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