In the Field

Sleeping Beauty – Alaska Grizzly Bear  

sleeping beauty grizzly bear - Joseph Classen

Here’s another behind the scenes story of one of my favorite bears who I refer to as the Sleeping Beauty Grizzly Bear. I photographed this fine-looking grizzly on the mainland of Alaska several years ago and he’s been featured in many of my past videos, magazine articles, and he also ended up on the cover of one of my books.

From all the snow in the photos I took, it may look like the middle of winter, but in reality, it was a rather warm, sunny spring day…warm by Alaska standards anyway. There was a fair amount of snow on the ground still, but it was melting fast and the bears were starting to come out of hibernation and roam around. This bear was obviously hungry as it spent quite a bit of time looking for something to eat. He searched around the water’s edge of a nearby lake, maybe looking for a fish or two or a leftover spawned out salmon, but didn’t have any luck. He kept on the hunt and eventually found what looked like the remains of an old moose carcass to chew on for a while.

After getting some calories in his belly he got a little exercise by wrestling around with another young bear that showed up on the scene, and then he just flopped down on the ground and took a nap. He must have been somewhat in hibernation mode still because he slept hard! He rested his head on his hands, struck a very familiar, human-like sleeping pose, and was out cold. He even started to snore at one point and make these weird, funny faces, much like a person who’s having all sorts of crazy dreams. As always, I was at a safe distance and using a zoom lens, so I was able to get some really cool shots of that beautiful sleeping grizzly.

So that’s a little bit of the behind the scenes story of the Sleeping Beauty Grizzly 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.

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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.