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Of Bears and People V

Of Bears and People V
Photo Information
Copyright: Roland Roesler (Roly) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 4 N: 64] (587)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-18
Categories: Nature
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/4, 1/2500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-03 20:07
Viewed: 2436
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is the fifth and last image of a short series on the interaction between bears and people in Western Canada's national parks. We could call it "The chase is on". For a complete story see the first, second, third and forth shot of the series.
As is usually happens, a few tourists end up leaving the cars in order to get a better view of the bear and more importantly, a better shooting angle. The animal doesn't seem overly large by comparison to the trees in the background, and is not aggressive at all. And hey, everybody knows that teddybears are cute and cuddly, right? A girl and an older guy get out of the cars somewhere in front and, with cameras in hand, advance on the side of the highway towards the bear and me. And guess what, the animal hadn't seen the cartoons with the cuddly bear, so he decides to charge, and the beginning of this is exactly what you see in the picture. The girl did make it back to the car, because the bear gave up after few leaps amounting to ten meters or so. Probably he had hoped that he girl would drop everything to the ground, including food she might have been carrying, and when this didn't happen he lost interest. Probably... Could he have caught up with her, had he decided instead to make lunch out of her? Maybe yes, maybe no, the car wasn't far away but he was remarkably fast, much faster than her. You notice that the terrain is uneven, she could have tripped... And by comparison, the bear doesn't even seem that small, does he?
I haven't witnessed a bear charging before, but a few years ago I saw a mom asking her ten year old son to go check if the bear, which disappeared behind a ditch less than ten meters away, was still there. She wanted a picture with the kid and the bear in the same frame... Another time I say an older fellow descending the steep, deep shoulder of the highway in order to get closer to a grizzly that was dozing in the forest. The rangers coincidentally appeared as he had arrived at the bottom of the slope, and his wife called back at him in German, from the car: "Dieter, I don't think you should be doing this!". So he started backtracking while facing the bear and continuing to film, and promptly fell on his back, like a beetle that hit a window. Luckily, the bear couldn't be bothered...
You can find a link to an unofficial list of fatal bear attacks in North America here and a site reporting recent bear sightings in the National Parks of Rocky Mountains here. If you are headed this way this summer, enjoy your stay and be respectful towards the animals, giving them lots of space. You wouldnt like if they would ambush you in your living quarters... The vast majority of victims of human-bear encounters are bears.

kross1, Derona, mortcdz has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Great image and even more interesting commentary.
Thanks for providing both.

  • Great 
  • kross1 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 594 W: 17 N: 1223] (4936)
  • [2008-06-03 22:20]

What are people thinking? Great shot of this not so bright person running for their life. The park looks beautiful and like a nice place to visit.

  • Great 
  • Derona Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 154 N: 855] (5631)
  • [2008-06-03 23:27]

Hi Roland

Great capture of this crazy women.
Like your other shots in the series as well.
very interesting note.

Regards Derek

  • Great 
  • k-2 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 605 W: 26 N: 503] (3638)
  • [2008-06-22 7:43]

Good documentary photo. The taillight gives great context to the photo. Maybe this is why you kept saying that I was close too the moose. Be assured that I was far away and that it was the cropping that made it look close.
Cheers. Karin

Nice piece of reportage, and a really informative note. The inclusion of the car back wing works well as it stops the picture looking contrived or faked - there's a reality reporting feel to the shot.
Thanks for sharing

Hi Roly;

So I guess we found where you've been hanging out these days eh? Haha...
I just finished sending you an e-mail and found my way to some of your shots here in TL. I'll be up in the Rockies for a few days, and I'm contemplating picking up some bear spray and bear bangers while out and about looking for that 'perfect' shot. Your thoughts?

Needless to say, I'll do my best to avoid the scene above- opting more for shooting from the car with my zoom!
You really captured the moment- I wonder if anyone got the shot from the front with the look of terror on her face? Haha...

- Dan

It always upsets me when people show such ignorance towards wild animals. It happens all too frequently despite information provided by rangers and national park personnel. No wonder serious accidents happen! We could all observe and admire, but stay away and please don't feed ANY wild animals!
Thanks for sharing this image.

Here a good title for this shot. "The bear and the stupid"

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