There are moments in nature that remind us we aren’t so badass after all. Like, watching a black bear in Alaska snag a salmon fresh from a creek. While there are some great anglers out there, nothing beats the claws and jaws of a hungry bear. While they are massive animals, their agility and grace while hunting are something to behold.
Thankfully, Alaskan resident Heather Douville captured a great moment of a black bear fishing for salmon. Her Instagram account @akmoosie is full of great photos from the outdoors. Douville lives in the Tongass National Forest which is filled with amazing wildlife, sights, and sounds. For some added effect, she put the music from Jaws in the video.
Black bears are smaller than grizzlies and other brown bears. Usually, when one thinks of a bear snagging salmon from streams and rivers, they picture the giant grizzly. However, black bears are just as capable as their larger cousins. In the video, it appears the bear misses his fish at first, but a second effort and lunge give him what he wanted.
There are few things cooler than seeing such a large animal do something so delicate. Catching a fish without a line is no joke, no matter what your evolutionary strengths may be. If that bear wanted to eat that fish, he was going to get it, point blank period. Also, how about that crystal clear water, just an amazing video all around. Makes you want to get outside and enjoy the day.
Black Bears Smarter Than Originally Thought
As mentioned earlier, black bears are not the usual suspects when it comes to salmon fishing. The video above could be anecdotal evidence to support a much more thorough study. Sue Fairbanks of the Oklahoma State University Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management has been studying these bears for over eight years.
Part of her recent studies has shown that black bears are able to problem solve and adapt to situations more easily than previously thought. Especially when it comes to getting food. The revelations have stunned researchers. It seems that the average bear might be getting smarter.
Not only are bears adapting to various situations, but they are also teaching the lessons to their young. Fairbanks found that black bears are sharing and teaching new generations how to navigate obstacles, including human ones. Deer feeders and other hunting feeders attract bears. They learn how to navigate into them, and even know how to unplug cords on electrified rigs.
“When they learn things like that, they will teach their offspring,” Fairbanks said about the phenomenon.
Those who have dealt with animals and livestock know that there are a couple of motivators for domesticated breeds. First and foremost, food. After that, affection such as brushing or petting. The same thing applies to these wild animals, minus the affection. Food is the ultimate motivator in the wild and that means black bears are having to adapt in order to find that food.