A biologist attracted some unwanted attention while filming grizzly bears at an Alaskan National Park last week, and has shared an alarming video of one animal spotting and charging directly at the camera.
Katmai National Park and Preserve is famous for its population of grizzly bears, which thrive thanks to its remote location and the thousands of salmon that travel upstream to spawn in the fall, just as the bears are fattening themselves up for hibernation.
This has led to the creation of Fat Bear Week, where members of the public vote for the bear that has piled on the most pounds before the winter.
It’s the perfect place for scientists to research the animals’ behavior. However, even experts can’t always predict how wildlife will react to their presence.
The clip, posted on TikTok and shared via news site The Cooldown shows one grizzly speeding past a group of five researchers, while another turns and heads right for them. As the animal picks up speed, the video suddenly cuts out.
@intoalpine don’t worry about the abrupt cut off at the end as i realize that, yes, this bear IS in fact still running right towards us. #katmai #katmaicoast #hallobay #nationalpark #brownbear ♬ original sound – Anna
Thankfully, the close call had a happy ending, with the group staying calm and avoiding injury.
“Don’t worry about the abrupt cut off at the end as I realize that, yes, this bear IS in fact still running right towards us,” the filmmaker, Anna, wrote when posting the clip.
The bears at Katmai have become celebrities, and their popularity ended up saving the life of a hiker who got lost at the park earlier this year. The park set up the webcam on Dumpling Overlook back in 2014 when it launched Fat Bear Week so people all around the world can keep tabs on the animals during their annual feeding frenzy. In early September, however, viewers instead saw a soaked hiker emerge out of the mist and approach the camera.
The feed has no audio, but they were able to read the man’s lips, which seemed to be saying the words “lost” and “help.” The quick-thinking viewers commented under the feed that there seemed to be a hiker in need of assistance. Administrators for Explore.org, which operates the livestreams, quickly alerted the NPS, and soon a mountain rescue team located the man.
What you can do
Help to save wildlife by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute.
This article by Cat Ellis was first published by Advnture on 12 December 2023. Lead Image: (Image credit: Getty Images).