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Katmai bear cam connects global audience to bears of Alaska

Alaska Dispatch News

For the third year in a row, Katmai National Park and Preserve has teamed up with media organization explore.org to offer a window into the lives of bears at the famed Brooks Camp on the Alaska Peninsula. The bear cams have attracted a global audience in the years that they've broadcasted their live stream, allowing viewers from around the world to observe the bears in an environment that few have actually visited in person.

There are four cameras positioned at Brooks Camp, a National Park Service-run campground that follows the Brooks River and connects Lake Brooks to Naknek Lake in Southwest Alaska. In past years, the cameras have run off of solar power, but recently switched to a fuel-powered model to allow for higher definition streaming. 

"The Brooks Falls cam is located on the banks of a 5-foot-high waterfall where as many as 30 bears have been spotted at one time to catch the up-streaming salmon that must pass the bears and the falls to spawn in nearby creeks and rivers," said a release from explore.org. "Another cam is located at the mouth of Brooks River and the entrance of Naknek Lake, where close bears in the area utilize the lower river to feast on salmon and raise their young before the impending hibernation, sometimes in convergence of 40 or more in the fall, especially."

Watching the drama unfold along the river is a great time-killer, and many viewers tune in regularly, to the point that they become familiar with individual bears and provide them with nicknames. Earlier this month, one bear well-known to viewers and nicknamed "Tundra" due to the color of her coat was found dead, apparently killed and partially eaten by another bear. 

View all the webcams at explore.org.