Bear Battle


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More than 2,000 brown bears call Katmai National Park home. Early in the spring season, brown bears emerge from winter hibernation, ravenous from six or seven months of surviving only on stored body fat. They have lost more than a third of body weight, so these lean, hungry bears feed on grasses until an opportunity for meat comes along.   

While brown bears tend to be solitary creatures, prime fishing spots attract a dramatic gathering of these alpha predators. During salmon run season, Katmai brown bears move to inland streams where sockeye salmon jump the currents in their upstream migration. Some bears travel as far as eighty miles to feast on salmon in this area.

While the fish offer a feasting paradise, the high concentration of hungry competitors ignites confrontation between the bears. A choice fishing spot guarantees quick weight gain, improved strength and survival.

Follow the journey of Tuyuq, a twenty-three year old battle-scarred brown bear. He weighs half a ton and has ruled this unforgiving region with his superior size and strength. But this summer, he’ll battle a determined foe. Who will be the King Bear of Katmai?

Catch Planet Carnivore: King Bear TONIGHT at 8PM et/pt on Nat Geo Wild!

Love bears? Check out this blog post on grizzly bears fishing and view this gallery of spectacular bear photographs.

Video Preview: “Saving Cubs from their Dads” — Male bears sometimes kill dependent cubs in order to mate with their mothers, so the females are on high alert.