Brown Bears Converge for Salmon Run in Alaska

Roy Wood, Katmai National Park and Preserve official, talks about his famous bear cam.
11:18 | 07/24/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Brown Bears Converge for Salmon Run in Alaska
Bears being bears in the Alaska wilderness they are on the hunt for salmon. And up close personal and uninterrupted look at bear season. Everyone I'm down Cutler in new York and you can watch these bears and so many webcams that have been set up. By explore dot org but we're also seeing them. On the local news show episode people's backyards what is the difference between a brown bear a black or how do you respond ranger Roy wood chief of interpretation -- -- -- national park is joining us now in Alaska with some of the answers to those questions ranger -- -- you're getting -- up -- very personal look at these -- converging on the area right now. I imagine when you see those animals inside it never gets old. It doesn't I've been here for her over eleven years. And I spoke about just about every night to watch the bears catching salmon falls it's a -- meeting spectacle of seeing you grow up privileged to be part of this and this is an annual event correct. It is every year it -- ended June the first part of the life sockeye salmon -- Brooks river which is the river you seat one behind me. And they returned in extraordinary numbers. This year. Maybe. 1750000. -- standard this river and what makes him really cool here is to get. Up there the water ball and makes it easy beacons -- There's guimaraes has just how big these bears are because unfortunately -- would it -- get a chance to actually see the perspective that I know that when I was up in Churchill Manitoba. Covering the polar bears migration up a lot of the polar -- there. When you actually seen these animals up close and within that ten or fifteen foot radius. They are enormous to say the least. The scene near army. Brown bears or not it's the largest polar bears up but these are these are big bears the largest meals that we see on the camera. And it loads out there right now I don't want -- turn around and credit figured about but the largest mail that we see. Kinney seed media lavender what record bound by -- -- -- be here in the fall. So these are big big animal. It's kinda misleading on the camera beat its. You don't have anything for scale you to see this animal standing in the middle of the river in its -- spirits but -- -- you realize those -- aren't even be picking up. The -- like eighteen inches longingly 46 pounds that might help you get scale but big big bears a -- That's -- size of an export -- org is the fact is that we can enjoy this from the safety of our computers and our homes our offices. What is the nature -- of a brown bear is -- an aggressive animal. -- round bears are found around the world and they're -- in the northern latitudes around the world so you. Ever seen a bear in Europe or in Siberia art and -- at the -- bare and brown bears that access to. Saint -- and resources like he'd be here Brooks -- can be very -- bad. And a lot of biologists believe that it's this nature but aren't repeated food source are concentrated food source -- -- -- it will stamp another. Salmon streams as well as the fact that they're -- well fed. When's the brown -- postal brown bear but she collapsed us like -- -- were more accepting personality. Compared the data it grizzly bear which is -- the interior parts. Alaska and or 48 -- -- not out. I'll repeat the supply food to needy little more protective of its food -- and its territory. But I eat there last year are you pretty stepping -- our presence as long as. Stick to that -- routes in pretty much -- -- -- way -- Spain each year. -- and watching some of these images that we're seeing here that are going through export dot org. They obviously become very territorial when -- find a good spot looks like in the river. Yet you -- it very clearly on the dam where there are hotspots that are favorites of the bears -- me. It's -- during the first car of the year defend those vigorous leader it -- and serious fights early on. By now they mostly worked it out to a series of -- -- where. -- secure they'll often often. In turn themselves broadside one another shell -- big they are and it's it's and understood agreement and that they're not going to challenge one another. But everywhere so why are you still have some some conflicts that break out and beat him to allow it to the reports -- -- See you talk Philadelphia there's a -- brown bear -- grizzly bear what about the black bears what about these reports that we hear oftentimes a local news about. Bears other coming into people's backyards. Is -- a totally different type of animals -- their behavior. It is and I believe what spears and -- and brown river are both wild. Bears they're both native in North America the black bear. Seems to be a little more adaptable to being in areas in close proximity with humans. And that's not necessarily -- good thing I think brown bears apple won't wariness of humans. Whereas black bears into encroached on our our surroundings and those who bears -- and -- read about. Sitting in common stock or are you eating the dog -- in the back yard sitting in -- And -- You that still dangerous wild animals in the -- do with any eighty Campbell if you see him in your yard if you seat him you know down the street -- keep -- distance. You don't whenever make the animal feel threatened. All the authorities and you -- experts in the amendments the situation. I wanted to ask you about that do you respond differently between a brown bear a black spirit -- bear if in fact you are. On a chance encounter with them I mean is it we -- we we hear so many conflicting ideas -- do you play dead to you wave your hands -- try to scared away from you what's the best advice. The best advice that -- Repeat -- wait it -- owners first and foremost here Brooks yet we try to keep people fifty yards away from the -- It gets up biologists have determined -- Fifty yard distance seems to be a distance. Which bears don't really acknowledge. Your presence or don't worry too much about your present. When you get within that that new indicate each reactions in and so. Fifty yards or greater -- and he treated the same way speak to them let them know you're there you might wait your arms. Just to -- -- out that get you mean you. If they come charging you. It's still the same thing until the point where they might be on act which -- -- at the any contact with you experts say that you can fight. It black bear and you see plate yet. The brown bear or there's there. And and it's just the nature of their personality there. An important -- their intentions are you don't stand much of -- chance fighting back if there are brown bear promptly but it grizzly bear. It's aria a Blackberry -- equal team. The difference -- -- -- you. -- -- Bear attacks you -- really rare. What about -- running I mean I imagine these things can get some goods being go way. Date in certainly -- any thoughts both brown and black bears in. Top thirty miles an hour which for this he teams which -- spark created and then I can run or are we any human can run. They can cover fifty yard -- and rear four seconds so their backs with no doubt that. What the interest in things -- -- you -- this is an irregular basis he believes they have never gets old it never gets tiresome. With interest he knows that export network has set up this series of web cameras around the world -- catches these kinds of phenomenon I mention the polar bear migration I think Canada. And now these brown bears up in Alaska that and where are these cameras exactly -- they stationed along this particular river. Yeah or stamp which -- -- -- and are we series of cameras that are along -- stripper. We have them at that to mean bear. Quieter you can actually hear -- and in we have another series of cameras that -- another viewing platform down. Why we're here at the river dumps in -- -- like we also have some underwater cameras there keeping watch the salmon on their upstream migration. -- have -- seen any kind of patterns or trends their migration and their movement over the past couple of years. And well. -- -- -- -- Hertz rent but you know it's it's a wild process and so we have the -- -- -- that occurs from year to year end and we talked about July being able to see it there's on the false. Sometimes it starts a little bit in Kingston plant it and -- before July -- -- But it's it's a pretty predictable. Obsessed and it's been you know we've been monitoring it here closely for the last fifteen -- twenty years -- -- -- remarks. In you know on schedule you -- -- that find it if it starts hearing the union and by the end of -- -- sort of one -- the other interesting thing that happens is that examiner -- Pretty much moving -- the system right now won't we won't see very much activity if their numbers will begin to drop. And it -- be very quietly here for the month of August in September it will -- turnaround in ramp up again very fast as these. The need salmon in the river I. And watched war and cares about that feed on them tremendous numbers as well how long have you -- out there Alaska. I'd been -- since 2000 -- so little over eleven years I've been here. And and obviously you've seen this and you've seen the fact that. Someone like you -- to see this on a regular basis very few people are actually able to make it out there to Alaska but that now have this exposure -- to have this kind of experience is really something very in -- Yeah and that's something we're really product here because. Mike it's relatively little but it indicates and we at Brooks can't we get about 101000 visitors a year. Compare that to Grand Canyon with four million or -- -- in the three million some in the great smoky. Mountain national -- gets something like 78 or nine million this is a very small -- at least in part. It's a very expensive to get here and it's not for everyone get out -- small plane -- at camp. -- so it seemed kind of unfair bet the majority. US citizens are the people the world. You know the opportunity -- you'd be spared but -- -- for financial or logistical reasons so these -- allow us to beat the bears. Two people where they beat -- -- sitting on the subway watching them on your your cell phone that he wanted it. And and -- -- -- AP you know it's more me possible that the park service on its own never been a great partners. And obviously it's great opportunity and yes the safety in the comfort of being able to enjoy this from anywhere in the world ranger Roy would. From Alaska ranger thanks so much we appreciate right always appreciate the time the inside fascinating. Of course you can stay up -- -- with this story logging on to explore dot org and right here on For now. I'm Dan Butler New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"11:18","description":"Roy Wood, Katmai National Park and Preserve official, talks about his famous bear cam.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"24700860","title":"Brown Bears Converge for Salmon Run in Alaska","url":"/US/video/brown-bears-converge-salmon-run-alaska-24700860"}