While on a recent trip to Kodiak Island in Alaska, 43-year-old Luxembourg photographer Christophe Vassilen came across a very rare and captivating sight.
Christophe was traveling through the Katmai National Park in southern Alaska when he happened across a mother bear and her three cubs standing by a riverbank. The mother bear was fishing for salmon in the river, and Christophe was stunned at this arresting sight.
It’s quite rare for a mother Kodiak bear to have three cubs. Usually she has just one or two. This was a very rare sighting indeed, and one that Christphoe was not going to miss. Grabbing his camera, he hunkered down and started snapping away. These are his amazing shots…
“The female and the cubs were walking on the bank watching in the water, looking for a bench of salmons,” Christophe told MailOnline. “Whenever a bench of fishes pass the female tried to catch them.” Salmon are an important part of a bear’s diet. During the spawning season, hundreds of thousands of them will swim up rivers to their traditional spawning grounds. Bears patrol the banks of the rivers, ready to pounce as the salmon pass by.
The mother bear ran into the river to catch the fish as her anxious cubs looked on. It’s a risk leaving such young cubs on the riverbank on their own, as any male bears that may be in the area could attack them on sight. However, it’s a risk a mother has to take to feed her hungry charges.
It would take the mother bear several attempts before she was able to succesfully catch a fish. Salmon are slippery customers, so it’s no surprise that she didn’t have a hundred percent success rate.