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Liz Bickel | all galleries >> Grizzly Bears in their native wild habitat. > The Old Man
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The Old Man
19-JUL-2011 copyright Elizabeth Bickel

The Old Man

According to Katmai rangers, this bear has been coming to Brooks Falls since 1982.
He was a sub adult on his own when he first showed up. He then went on to become one of the dominant boars at the Falls.
Based on this time line, that would make him over 30 years old.

Each year for the past 4 or 5 years, everyone has said that it would be his last year. However each July, he then surprises all by again returning.
Unfortunately, with the salmon run being both late and sparse in 2011, things did not look good for the old gentleman
During the days I watched him, he didn't catch a single fish. Plus there was little to scavenge. He didn't even try.

This is one of my favorite photos of 2011 because my heart went out to the old fellow. There is just something extra special about seniors. I really hope he does come back for the 2012 season.

But if he doesn't, he will not be forgotten.


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Ann Cleeves28-Jul-2012 23:23
Heart rending image. It's natural, I suppose, but quite upsetting to see, but helps to see your information and observations on him.
Patricia Kay24-Jan-2012 20:07
Beautiful image of this old bear...a sad tale Liz...BV
burtmann24-Jan-2012 15:34
Emotionally great capture. v
Frank Kavanagh Photography24-Jan-2012 09:41
Great shot, sad as it is to look at his coat hanging loose.
Thanks for the info on this old gent.V.
lou_rozensteins24-Jan-2012 08:51
Sad. but inevitable!! It's a great shot.
Pat Shawyer24-Jan-2012 07:30
This brought a tear to my eye !
soulis24-Jan-2012 05:36
Beautiful presentation. V.