Two spirit bears fishing for salmon are preparing for the long winter ahead.
In this video by National Geographic, a spirit bear fishes with ease, catching up to 12 salmon a day to fatten up for the rough season ahead. But the younger bear who joins him, he’s just learning.
Even the adult seems to get a chuckle from watching the youngster splash and play while trying to catch dinner. It’s nature’s own catch and release.
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Kermode bears, commonly referred to as spirit bears, are a subspecies of the American black bear that live in British Columbia. About one-tenth of spirit bears have the white or cream colored coats that make them famous, which is the result of a recessive gene.
Their light colored coat makes them 30 percent more effective at fishing during daylight hours compared to those with a darker coat. At night, their rates are the same. This is due to the light color of their fur being harder for fish to see during daylight.
The area where spirit bears live is referred to as the Great Bear Rainforest, and is in jeopardy from the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. The pipeline’s planned route goes very near the bears’ habitat and could cause significant damage to their already dwindling population. Only about 400 are still left in the wild.