Alaska is home to the largest grizzlies around, reaching weights well over 1,000 pounds in some cases. Typically called “brown bears” or “coastal brown bears,” these Alaskan bears are known for their love of salmon (unlike inland grizzlies who don’t have much access to fresh fish), which provides them with the nutrients and fats they need to survive.
Grizzly bears are known for their aggressive nature. They simply know they are bigger and meaner than most any other animal out there. They use their massive size, sharp claws and strong bite to fend off anything even other bears.
Grizzly bears will fight over territory, mating, their young, and food.
Generally, when there is an abundance of food, bears have a calmer disposition. When the salmon is flowing, there is plenty to go around, but for some reason, these bears decided they all were hungry on this day, and they all wanted the same fish.
These guides were out watching some grizzly bears near the Alagnak River in Alaska.
Three bears approach a sow with her cub as if they are coming in on an attack., but the mother stands her ground and stands up to the three bears. Another bear chases a salmon, and all the bears get distracted. Finally, a nearby bear chases and catches a single salmon and all the bears lose their minds.
They have themselves a good old fashioned bear brawl right in the middle of it all, meanwhile the sow and her cub make a break for it as the rest aren’t looking.
The guide describes it as follows:
“It started with 3 bigger bears approaching a sow with a young cub. She is fending them off with her cub sheltering behind her. I was expecting to see a fight between the sow and three approaching bears, when another bear chased a salmon up to them and all hell broke loose, as all the bears were having a food fight over that one fish!
The fight went on and on. I have never seen anything like it.
You will see the cub run away to avoid getting in the middle of the brawl. Later, I see the cub swimming across the river on its own and see a big bear break away and go after it. So I pan over thinking an opportunistic bear is going to eat the cub.
But then I realize the big bear chasing the cub is it’s mom. That ends with a reunion and little comforting nuzzle between them. But the food fight is still going on, so I pan back to the action.”