After experiencing the sheer magic of Day 1 photographing grizzly bears in Khutzeymateen, British Columbia, anything I got after that was icing on the cake.
I captured more astonishing moments on Day 1 than I dared to dream of! So when we set out on the second day I had a feeling of calm joyfulness knowing that I had already achieved my goals and I could just relax into the experience.
I expected it to be similar to the first day, but it was not. I soon found out that every time we ventured out into the estuary there were new discoveries to be made. There were different bears doing different things, the weather was different and the tides were different.
Day 2 turned out to be quite a warm day with very little rain for this part of the world and I think the bears were excited about it for this day was all about playtime!
Just like any of us would do on a warm summer day, it was time for some swimming.
Along comes another bear…
… and then the fun really begins!
Something suddenly attracted the bears’ attention…
… so they went up on land to check it out. Finding nothing, playtime resumes!
They went in and out of the water a few times while play biting, shoving, and wrestling. This was very entertaining to watch and I felt privileged that the bears felt comfortable enough with our presence to simply ignore us and get on with their bear business.
After watching this interaction for awhile, we decided to give them their space and move along to see what else was going on in the estuary.
We saw a bear cub walking along the shores with her mother close by.
This little cub was such a cutie looking at us out of the tops of her eyes.
Even with my previous experience of the bears being comfortable with our presence, I was surprised that the mother bear wasn’t at all worried about us even when she had a cub.
This place is a remarkable feat. Establishing a sanctuary for grizzly bears where they are safe, and ensuring that the few humans that enter the sanctuary respect them, has resulted in a place where grizzly bears can be bears and humans can observe their mysterious life.