A photo of two fishermen with a grizzly bear closely watching them has gone viral, depicting how man and nature coexist, reports Rachel DeSantis of celebrity and human interest website People. The photograph was taken at Katmai National Park in Alaska in late July by Robert Hawthorne, a wildlife photographer who has photographed bears.
21-year-old Hawthorne knew that the brown bear eyeing the two fishermen wasn’t going to attack them. He speculated that the large mammal wanted to catch salmon in the creek below. Hawthorne states, “Knowing from experience there that it isn’t a threat in how it was playing out, I had time to take a photo before letting this guy know that he had a bear behind him.” The man only looked at the bear and continued fishing, according to the wildlife photographer.
|Photo Credit: Daria Rybakova (via Shutterstock)|
The bears in the park walk up and down the riverbank to search for food, notes Hawthorne. The animals will dive into the water “dozens of times per day” when they spot something. Hawthorne recounts, “I’ve literally been sitting down on the bank, like right where those fisherman are.” Then, he heard something behind him. He looked over his shoulder and “had the underside of a bear looking over top of me.”
The bear close to the 21-year-old was looking straight into the water to find fish. “If he had seen something he liked, he probably would’ve jumped right over me or walked right past me,” he conjectures. Hawthorne commends the strict rules implemented by the park to help bears feel comfortable around humans such as storing food in bear-proof canisters within electric fences. He explains, “What often gets bears killed, or what gets bears in conflict with humans, is when they come into people’s territories and get into trash.”
|Photo Credit: Robert Hawthorne/Kennedy News (via People)|
Sadly, Hawthorne did not meet the two fishermen in the photograph, but he hopes that they’ll reach out to him considering the image went viral.