Caviar on tap

Brown bear, Kamchatka Russia

A brown bear fishes for salmon in the rich spawning grounds of Kurilskoye Lake (also known as Kurile Lake) in Kamchatka Russia. Brown bears are highly efficient fishermen, mercilessly plucking salmon after salmon from the water.

Their technique is breathtaking to watch, immediately after capturing the salmon they flick their head around to break the spine of the fish. One you hear a loud CRACK you know the job is done and the doomed salmon hangs limply from the bear's massive jaws. The pressure applied to kill the salmon is immense, and on this occasion, the roe spills from the female salmon in an explosion of red caviar. Like humans, bears love their caviar and have been know to actually reject male salmon in favour of the egg laden females.

Kurilskoye Lake lake is one of the world's richest salmon spawning areas, with an estimated 6 million salmon in the crater lake in peak season. The region is also one of the most remote locations I have visited, located deep in the rugged Eastern Volcanic Zone of Kamchatka Russia (Siberia). There are no roads to the area and the only way in is aboard ex-military Russian Mi-8 helicopters, which arguably, are more dangerous than the bears themselves.

SKU KA2953

Category: Bears, Bears Kamchatka, Kamchatka, Wildlife

Type: Photographs