Like many kids growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, I loved watching professional wrestling! My friends and I would hang out in the basement and watch all the action-packed drama unfold every Saturday morning, and then…much to the displeasure of our parents…practice all our favorite wrestling moves on each other and wreck all the furniture. Something that we always looked forward to each year was the grand finale Royal Rumble wrestling matches, when all the superstars would get in the same ring or cage and battle it out to see who was the king!
As I’ve witnessed over the years in Alaska bear country, the Royal Rumble is a phenomenon that takes place in the world of bears at times as well, especially during the summer months when many bears come from miles around and all congregate at an abundant food source, such as a dead whale, or, more commonly, a salmon weir.
A weir is essentially a fence that’s placed across a river for a certain period of time which directs the movement of fish such as salmon. In Alaska, weirs are essential tools for the counting, management, and research of many fish species, which helps ensure healthy populations for the future.
Again, as fish congregate at weir sites so do the bears, sometimes in great numbers. And just like at those Royal Rumble wrestling matches, the tension can get high and tempers can heat up during all the action.
The video below was captured at a salmon weir on Kodiak Island Alaska at Frazer Lake. Check it out!
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