Grizzly Bears Seizing Salmon Out of the Air



Image: Gleb Tarassenko

With snarls coming from their jaws, these bears look like they are ready to fight for the fish they’re trying to catch, but the salmon are so thick in the water that sometimes the grizzlies just need to be a little patient and the fish will come right to them.

Despite their fearsome appearance, grizzly bears just love fishing for salmon, as these stunning pictures by photographer Gleb Tassarenko testify. There is a big difference between grizzlies that live on the coast and their cousins from the interior. The coastal grizzlies have their welfare tied to salmon in ways that affect their size, reproduction, and the amount of cubs they can produce. Catching the fish also contributes to the wider ecosystem because the salmon carcasses provide much needed nitrogen for spruce trees and other flora.


Image: Gleb Tarassenko

As you can see in this picture, perched on the edge of some rapids, the bears have the perfect vantage point for taking advantage of the thousands upon thousands of salmon swimming upriver to spawn. The bears are literally just reaching out as the fish jump into their waiting jaws – a far quicker death for the fish than awaits them at the end of the spawning season, when they die naturally. This is part of the life cycle of Pacific salmon: they all die after spawning, while Atlantic salmon may survive to return to the ocean for another season.

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