2023—Snorkel Bear

We’ve given nicknames to many of the Kodiak Brown Bears we’ve watched over the years. Each visit we seem to encounter a bear with some unique (to us) behavior patterns. Snorkel Bear was a huge mother with two COYS (cubs of the year) whose preferred method of catching salmon was to wade into the deep part of the river at the bend, dip under the water, and then watch for and capture salmon in her huge clawed paws. We rarely saw her out of the water and her cubs were not yet old enough to venture into the water so they watched and waited from the shoreline, usually hidden in the undergrowth. Snorkel Bear waited patiently for us to drift by, then she dipped her head under the water, emerging seconds later with a fish clutched in her paws. Sometime she ate it and proceeded to snorkel again. Occasionally, she’d share with her cubs. But her cubs seemed to be thriving and she kept fishing for them. I hope we’ll get to see them next spring.

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