In the Field

Mean Mama VS Peekaboo Bear – Behind the Scenes Story

The behind the scenes story of the fight between two Kodiak brown bears known as “Mean Mama” and “Peekaboo Bear.”

Here’s another behind the scenes bear story for you to enjoy. This one’s about a couple of big Kodiaks I refer to as mean mama and the peekaboo bear. A few summers ago I was on a salmon fishing float trip with some friends on Kodiak Island. We stopped to have lunch and take a break at one point during the afternoon, and while lounging out on a gravel bar preparing some food to eat, we began hearing some rustling back in the woods behind us. It was a very quiet sound, and not alarming whatsoever, so, after a quick look around, we simply proceeded to enjoy our lunch. While finishing up, we noticed something a little strange back in the area where the sound was coming from. Upon carefully looking over the area again, a safe distance away, we noticed two fuzzy ears and a set of eyes peering out from behind the alder leaves. That bear had most likely been watching us all the while as we prepared and ate our lunch, and who knows for how long before that.

The peekaboo Kodiak bear watching us through the thick, riverside brush.
The peekaboo Kodiak bear watching us through the thick, riverside brush.

We called out to the bear to let him know that he was busted! Like a kid who just got tagged out during a game of hide-and-seek, the bear came out of the brush and fully exposed himself to us, as if he knew he was caught. He wasn’t aggressive at all, but simply gave us a rather funny, humiliated look, whiffed the air a few more times to enjoy the aroma of our human food, and eventually went on his way to continue fishing for salmon, as bears are supposed to do.

A little while later I spotted a very serious looking sow and her two cubs coming out of the woods to fish for a while, quite a ways downstream from us. That curious bear who we encountered during lunchtime suddenly appeared on the scene and began muscling in on the sow’s fishing area. Without the slightest hesitation whatsoever, that sow sprang into action and launched a vicious attack on ol’ peekaboo! She erupted with a savage, violent attack and kicked his butt back down the river in a hurry! She was all business and you can bet we stayed waaaaay far away from her and her cubs and were extremely careful when we eventually had to get back in the raft and float past her to continue our journey. Thankfully, she just sat on the river bank with her cubs and watched us float on down the line with no altercations.

Mean mama running after Peekaboo to kick his butt!
Mean mama running after Peekaboo to kick his butt!

So that’s a little bit of the behind the scenes story of Mean Mama VS Peekaboo 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.