Katmai bear cam is back for its sixth year

Jun 29, 2017

About 2200 bears live in Katmai National Park and Preserve. The popular webcam, which attracts thousands of viewers daily, gives people a close look at bears' behavior.

Bears nicknamed Grazer and Beadnose face off near Brooks Falls on June 26, 2017.
Credit explore.org

The Katmai bear cam went live last week. This is the sixth year that live footage from popular bear hangouts in Katmai National Park and Preserve is being streamed on explore.org.

People around the world are getting online to watch the bears. In the last week, the bear cams have been averaging 15,000 viewers at any given time. This summer is already off to an exciting start. Viewers captured footage of bears nicknamed Grazer and Beadnose growling at each other on the bank of the river by Brooks Falls on Monday.

On his blog, former Katmai ranger, Mark Fitz, speculates that that the dustup was motivated by the two mother bears being protective of their cubs.

Park superintendent Mark Sturm says the response to the webcam has been enthusiastic.

“People are really excited and interest in seeing the bears in their natural environment,” says Mark Sturm, the park superintendent. “Providing the whole wide world the opportunity see the resources that Katmai has and to give them an opportunity to view some of the behaviors that they exhibit has really been a successful collaboration.”

The project is a partnership between explore.org and the Katmai National Park and Preserve. A grant to the park from the Annenberg Foundation, which shares a creator with explore.org, provides infrastructure for the project. That grant pays for a seasonal media ranger position, supports educational programming and funds the webcams themselves.

Two camera locations are set up so far this year. The most popular view is the one at Brooks Falls. It alone attracted 22 million views last year.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.