Monday, December 1, 2008

Alalska's Natural Wonders: Pick #7 Brooks falls bears

This selection completes my top 7 picks for Alaska's Natural Wonders. The survey on the right shows the general results from those who chimed in.

Brown bear fishing for salmon at Brooks falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Selecting any "top" subjects in a list is never simple nor authoritative, particularly with a subjective category like natural wonders. There is no rigid criterion in my selection process, and narrowing down the last one is a toss up between four or five. However, I'm casting a vote for the Brown bears of the Brooks river in Katmai National Park. There are few, if any other places in the world where bears gather in such density to feed on salmon. Furthermore, they have grown comfortable with human presence so observing them in close proximity can be easily and safely achieved. Over time the bears have learned of the protein rich food source of salmon that make their yearly migration through the Brooks river. They show up when the fishing gets good and gorge themselves on the river's bounty.

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