The end of September is upon us, bringing golden light and cool autumn air to Glendale Cove. After several days of much-needed rain, the sun has found the cove again, shining down on several grizzly families feeding and wandering around the estuary. Guides Jason and Eddy (who some of our guests tend to mix up due to their dashing good looks, facial hair and similar wardrobes purchased from Mountain Equipment Co-op) enjoy a sunny afternoon with guests, watching a beautiful blonde mother bear with three cubs of the year.
Since the bears are well immersed in hyperphagia (or a state of over-eating) at this time of year, with adult grizzlies trying to take in up to 20,000 calories per day, it’s all about salmon at the moment! In order to prepare for months of fasting while in their hibernation dens, the coastal grizzlies bears are eating almost from sun up to sun down. Lots of bears, like this female grizzly, have been sighted cruising the estuary even at a high tide of 18.7 feet, searching for salmon carcasses that have floated down the river from the spawning grounds higher up. Free food, if you don’t have to chase down a fish to eat it. The more energy coming in with the least amount of energy expended results in fat, happy bears by the end of October.
Guests and guides have also enjoyed watching lots of tussling and tumbling cubs over the last couple of weeks – lots of food to go around means there’s a little more time for play! Here, 2 out of a 4-cub family have a good wrestle while one of their siblings keeps watch.
A couple of our favourite sub-adult females, nicknamed Flora and Lillian, are looking quite curvaceous at the moment – I spotted these two about a week ago out in the estuary. We look forward to the spring (a few years from now) when Flora and Lillian will hopefully be returning to the cove with cubs of their own.