Watch Live Video of Bears Fishing for Salmon

The Internet and mass proliferation of capable devices has allowed almost anyone to broadcast live video. Many have taken advantage of it in the form of things like Periscope and Facebook Live, using it to broadcast behind the scenes footage and discuss trending topics, but Explore has used it for a rather neat purpose.

I'm a fan of live video. The immediacy of it feels more intimate, the real-time interactions feel more meaningful, and the fact that it can't be edited lends it a certain je ne sais quoi. Explore is "a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes" and features a huge network of live nature cameras. They're currently broadcasting from Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, where over 100 brown bears come to catch and eat sockeye salmon. It's a great alternative to seeing photos and videos after the fact, and in my opinion, it lends an excitement and immediacy to the affair that draws the viewer in.

Do you use live video in your work? How do you integrate it? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to check out Explore's site for more cool videos.

[via Gizmodo]


Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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As someone from the land down under...this is super-cool. No native bears here, unless you mistakenly call a Koala a bear. To be able to watch live footage of this, awesome. Thanks for the link Alex.

My pleasure!

Oh I've never heard of this site. Not only is the bear/salmon cam cool, but they have many other live video. Thanks for the link. Something tells me I'll be visiting it often.

That's where we spent our family vacation last summer - at Brooks Lodge. Nothing quite like taking the kids camping with bears. While the live feed is cool, being up on the shooting platform at the falls, or even better, having a bear cross your path on the way back to the campsite, is something that has to be experienced in person.

This was shot at less than 50 feet.

And that's an extremely incorrect statement.

Hmm. Not sure which National Park Service you're referring to. Certainly not Katmai NPS, which has tons of rangers all over Brooks Lodge, to ensure the safety of guests, but also to make sure that the bears are not disturbed as they go about doing their thing.

When you arrive at Brooks Lodge, the very first thing you do is take a class on bear safety, presented by a ranger. While you are urged to avoid getting too close to bears, some run-ins are inevitable. In this case, we were on the path that runs parallel to the beach, and since we were no threat to the bear, the bear was no threat to us.

You stick to whatever it is you shoot, in whatever city you live in. You clearly know nothing about wildlife.

Oh, that's right. You're the guy that thinks just because I lived in Australia for a few years, I must be Australian. And you must be British. Don't know why you have such a hard-on for trolling me, but whatever. You must enjoy being wrong.

The bears use the paths through the camp, but mostly stick to the beach, which runs parallel to the "people paths". There isn't 100 yards between the buildings and the beach - I doubt it's more than 50 yards in most spots.

I've attached some photos from the Katmailand website for you. Perhaps if you look at them, you will get a better idea of what it's like there. Bears walk through all the time. Unless you can duck into a building, there isn't a way to put much distance between yourself and them. You simply stay out of their way, and they will go on their way.

Note in the photo in front of the lodge, the ranger didn't even have time to tell people to go inside. That bear must have been moving pretty quickly through the camp.

The 2nd photo depicts the footpath campers are instructed to use, rather than the beach path.

And the 3rd photo shows that bears don't care about rules, they'll use whatever path they want.

Perhaps you should start saving your money, so you can visit there. Because unless you've been there, you should shut up about it.

There are no grizzly bears at Brooks Falls, or the area near the lodge. Again, you lack a basic understanding of wildlife. Ursus arctos gyas is a brown bear that gets fat and happy on salmon when they come out of hibernation. They have little interest in people during the month of July, and would much rather take advantage of a million salmon trying to make their way upstream. On the other hand, Ursus arctos horribilis (your grizzly bear) is found in higher altitudes, away from rivers and streams full of salmon. They are meaner, leaner, and I would prefer to maintain the distance my 800mm lens can provide.

If you check with the park service at Brooks Lodge, they will remind you that even though nearly every visitor will at some point end up well under 100 or even 50 yards from a bear, none have ever been killed by a brown bear. The only deaths in Katmai attributed to bears were the result of a couple of documentary makers choosing to live among them for extended periods of time.

So for anyone reading this, note that you can get plenty close to bears at Brooks Lodge, and you'll be safe. You can even contact for the park service for gear recommendations.

Well, at least I managed to shut you up, finally.