In the Field

Huge, Fat, Kodiak Bear – Behind the Scenes

Huge, fat, Kodiak bear

This huge, fat Kodiak bear has been featured in several of my videos over the years. In fact, this relatively brief clip went viral on Facebook and other social media platforms long before I ever posted it on Youtube.

As with many of the bears featured in my books, blog articles, and videos, I get a lot of questions from folks who’d like learn more about these particular animals. The well-fed Kodiak featured in this famous clip is a young female bear that I had the privilege of spending three summers with while working as a guide on the Ayakulik River. She grew quite a bit during those years and by the end of each summer she was nice and fat and ready for the winter months ahead.

Cupcake, the huge, fat, Kodiak Bear
Cupcake, the huge, fat, Kodiak Bear

This bear, who was given the name Cupcake, was a daily visitor at camp. She’d stroll by in the morning to have a wiff of what we were cooking for breakfast before heading out to fish, and she’d usually show up in the evening as well, to smell what was on the menu for dinner. It was also quite common to see her in the afternoon somewhere along the river, as we all shared the same trails and fishing holes. It really is a wonderful feeling to peacefully, safely, and respectfully coexist with very wild animals in very wild places.

Cupcake was a well-behaved bear who more than anything else was simply curious about what we humans were up to day after day. She was kind of like a big dog who just followed us around. Naturally though, as with any bear, proper safety protocol was always the top priority when she was around. Thankfully, Cupcake never showed any signs of aggression or irritation, and though she thoroughly enjoyed smelling what we humans ate, she never made an attempt to raid camp to get to our food supply, as her belly was always beyond full of fresh salmon. As should always be the case in bear country, our camp was kept clean and food was well secured. As an added level of precaution, the entire camps was also surrounded by a portable electric fence.

Cupcake was a peaceful bear, and kind of a loner. She never had cubs and didn’t seem to interact much with other bears. Sometimes she’d stroll by camp late at night, or very early in the morning, as was the case with this video clip. You could hear her heavy, powerful breathing and big, sloshing footsteps from a long way off as she strolled through the surrounding tundra or along the nearby river banks. There were plenty of other bears around as well, but Cupcake had a distinctive scar on her nose, which is how we were able to identify her from the other bears we encountered each day.

So that’s a little bit of the behind the scenes story of Cupcake, the huge, fat Kodiak bear. If you’d like to check out lots more bear videos, be sure to subscribe to the Wild Revelation Outdoors YouTube Channel.

 

To see more photos, check out the video version of this story by clicking here.

(Stay up to date on new blog posts and media by subscribing to our newsletter. Go to the bottom of the home page or the sidebar of this blog and sign up today!)

How to photograph bears. Photography book. Joseph Classen.
To learn more about bears, check out my book, How to Photograph Bear – The Beauty of the Beast.