Grizzly Bears & Sibling Rivalry

Bears are making daily appearances at Lake Louise these days, so today I went for a ride up and down the summer lift at Lake Louise to see if I could get any photographs. It was raining lightly, and I prefer to take photos on cloudy days since the light tends to be more even and generally results in better shots. On the lift, I was able to once again spot the three grizzly bears I had seen and photographed on June 28 (see previous post). On that day, the mother with two large cubs were quietly grazing on Juniper, close to one another and the chairlift. Today, however, was quite different.

 

On the way up, I first saw the mother, who was eating grass on Juniper lower down near tower #9 of the lift, with no sign of the cubs. I did see them eventually, near tower #13, which is almost the same place they were when I saw them on the 28th. As the bears came into view, one of them darted up a bank on the uphill side of the run. Wondering what had startled it, I watched as the other bear followed, and I then heard what I first thought was the sound of an ATV or motorcycle. I soon realised that it was a growl – loud and sustained. I had never heard a bear growl, and it was a chilling sound.

Of course, I had my camera, and was lucky to witness a brief but fierce fight (about 20 seconds) between the two cubs. As tensions appeared to ease, they were blocked from view by the passing trees. All three bears had disappeared by the time I made my way down the lift a few minutes later. The bears were a little farther away than last time, so they appear smaller in the frame, and I could only crop the shots so much before the images deteriorated too much. Click on the photos for larger versions.

Grizzly sow eating on Juniper.

Grizzly sow eating on Juniper.

The fight begins.

The fight begins.

Gnashing of teeth.

Gnashing of teeth.

A little wrestling.

A little wrestling.

 

 

 

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