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Bear Tracking in Ketchikan
Today, we boarded a bus and then a small boat to take us to Neet’s Bay. Bear tracking in Ketchikan is not difficult! There is a not-profit-salmon hatchery based there, which makes it good territory for bear tracking.
Keeping a plentiful supply of salmon going is very important to the isolated communities in this area, which is known as the salmon capital of Alaska. Apart from providing a good food source generally, there is money to be made from sport fishing, which is a popular pastime here.
We saw a large black bear almost immediately we arrived at the bay.
Although the small boat was very close to the coast, the bear seemed totally not bothered by either us or the seagulls that at times surrounded him. He was just interested in finding salmon.
It was between salmon runs and the silvers had not yet started, but there still seemed to be plenty of fish in the sea.
The salmon jumped from time to time and I was fortunate enough to be able to capture this on video while the bear was feeding. They are huge creatures, but surprisingly agile and able to climb trees and run quickly as well as swim. Most of the time though, they see to amble round slowly, looking for their next snack of berries or salmon.
In Summer, they are really a content eating machine – a bit like some of our fellow cruise passengers (!)
A couple of float plane expeditions annoyingly joined us at this point, drawn by the sighting of the bear. They soon left us to it after the first bear had been and gone though and Neet’s Bay soon returned to the calm and peaceful place it is meant to be as an atmospheric mist began to roll in from the sea.
The tour was arranged through Princess Cruises, but if you were travelling independently, you could enquire about booking it directly.