Bayou-Diversity (4 March 2018) In 1978 I photographed a young marauding grizzly as he caused havoc at one of the construction camps for the Trans-Alaskan pipeline. The bear would come loping across the tundra in the low-angle light of Arctic evenings to forage on the camp treasures almost on a daily basis. Workers were transported in buses, and he learned that lunch scraps were carelessly left inside. In a short time all of the buses were doorless. The bear would insert his six inch claws between the glass and gasket on a truck and flip the unbroken windshield aside in his scavenger hunts. Of course this caused a frenzy of concern and a real danger to humans. Various scare tactics were tried to curtail his raids. None worked for very long. Finally, Alaska Game and Fish officials anesthetized the grizzly, strapped him under a helicopter and hauled him 75 miles over the mountain. He was back in two days. As I headed south to return to college, a quasi-jury was deciding if the bear should live or die.
Not long ago I saw grizzlies again, four of them in one day in northwest Montana’s Glacier National Park. One magnificent silvertip catapulted dirt 30 feet over his shoulder as he dug for ground squirrels in a mountain meadow. Sadly, my most vivid impression is the terrified countenance of a young bear as he attempted to thread his way between car loads of gawking tourists on a busy highway. One silvertip catapulted dirt 30 feet over his shoulder as he dug for ground squirrels in a mountain meadow.One silvertip catapulted dirt 30 feet over his shoulder as he dug for ground squirrels in a mountain meadow.