We visited the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada last October. As we weren't sure what to expect, we decided to stay in two different locations to give us the best chance to see wildlife.
Our first stop was on the Atnarko River. It was an incredible experience floating down the river observing grizzly bears, black bears, and bald eagles. We also did some hiking through the Great Bear Rainforest with a guide and learned about the unique ecosystem of this area which all revolves around the health and abundance of the salmon population.
Last year was a peak salmon run which only happens once every 4-5 years, so we were excited and hopeful for the opportunity to observe grizzly bears in their natural habitat. The Pacific salmon begin their life in rivers and lakes of this area and as they become young adults they migrate to the ocean. They then return home to these rivers and lakes as mature adults to spawn and die. Before hibernating for the winter, bears go down to the river to hunt and they'll carry the salmon back into the forest to feast on. We learned that the salmon remains contain a high quantity of nitrogen that the plants need to grow, so this cycle is essential for the long term survival of the forest.
During our travels, we also visited Chilko Lake where we could observe and photograph grizzly bears and its surroundings from a small boat. It was incredible to watch the interactions between the mom and cubs, siblings and other bears. It was just fascinating to see them enjoying the everyday activities of life.
In both locations we were with experienced guides who respected the bears space while allowing us to quietly observe from a distance.
To capture these images, I used a super telephoto lens with a range up to 600mm. I'm currently working on a collection of wildlife photos that will be on display in the online gallery soon. Below is a sneak peek of a few images captured!