With travel restrictions still in place in many countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are turning to virtual experiences to catch wonderful events that we're missing in person. Which is why it's great news that the Katmai National Park bear cam is back for the season.

A brown bear fishing for salmon at Katmai National Park in Alaska
Brooks Falls is a great place to watch the bears feasting on sockeye salmon © Gleb Tarro/Shutterstock

The park in Alaska is a critical habitat for brown bears and salmon and provides the opportunity to explore dynamic arctic ecosystems. It is home to around 2200 brown bears, and Brooks Falls is a great place to watch bears feasting on sockeye salmon as they swim upstream to spawn.

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The live feed gets really active in late June and July, as the bears are hungry and their mating season is near its peak, so it's a marvellous time to watch them in action. As the salmon leap up the falls, the bears compete with each other for the best fishing spots. The largest and most successful bears can catch and eat more than 30 salmon per day.

The bear cam is online 24 hours per day, and watchers should keep an eye out for bald eagles, gulls, and even the occasional wolf partaking in the salmon buffet. It also enbles visitors to rank their favorite chubby bears as they gain weight to prepare for the winter season, as the park runs a yearly “fat bear contest.” Last year, a new permanent bridge was built along with elevated approach boardwalks over Brooks River, to make getting a glimpse of the fabulous animals safer for visitors to the park and bears too.

An adult brown bear and two cubs at Katmai National Park in Alaska
Around 2200 bears live at Katmai National Park © Gleb Tarro/Shutterstock

For further information, please visit Explore's brown bear webcam here.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

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