Hikers in Alaska’s Katmai National Park had a close encounter with a big, furry creature as the area’s largest bear walked straight by them. The bear 747 (not a jumbo aircraft, but it seems far too coincidental) was traveling through a track when it collided with Cara Siciliano and a group of visitors.
Fortunately, the bear seemed more interested in a photograph of Katmai’s famous brown bears on a notice board than the rest of the party.
Siciliano was flying from Homer, Alaska to Katmai National Park on a floatplane tour, however, the captain, Patrick Carter, an experienced guide who has conducted hundreds of tours through the area, was unconcerned.
Carter told Flying magazine, “It wasn’t an infrequent occurrence.” “It’s not a life-threatening situation. It’s like a ‘nothing to see here’ situation. That’s a video you could watch every day.”
Because witnessing a bear the size and weight of a smallish rhinoceros appear to be a daily occurrence, it’s best to be prepared in case one appears unexpectedly.
You’ll note that Carter is always conversing with the bear as it walks by. Hikers should make a lot of noise as they trek through bear habitat, giving any nearby wild creatures plenty of opportunities to recognize them as humans and move away. While it isn’t always essential when the bear is this close, the speech may help the bear identify humans, and the calm tone indicates you aren’t a threat. Visit Katmai’s website for additional information on bear encounters.
Although it is rarely spotted in inhabited areas, 747, which has seized the top spot in the Brooks River area, does not appear to be afraid of humans. Why would you be if you enjoy that?
In the National Park’s famed “Fat Bear Week” competition, Bear 747 was named the fattest bear of 2020, winning the title of bear that fattened up the most in preparation for winter. If this seems like a competition you’d like to participate in (the IFLScience team is looking forward to the annual sweepstake), Fat Bear Week 2021 will take place from September 29 to October 5. Check out explore.org’s bear cams, which feature the bears of Brooks Falls, to witness any of the chubby beasts in action.