Spring in Kamchatka: the First Bear Left the Den in the Kronotsky Reserve

Медведь на фоне вулкана Кроноцкий. Снимок фотоловушки Кроноцкого заповедника.

Usually, brown bears in Kamchatka wake up en masse after hibernation in mid-April. However, the hungriest, usually adult males, can get out of the den earlier. A camera trap in the Kronotsky Reserve took a picture of one of these "pioneers". The large animal, which had decided to greet spring earlier than others, confidently posed on the Pacific coast against the backdrop of a volcanic cone covered with snow.

On March 22, the bear was caught on a camera trap installed 15 kilometers from “Kronoki” ranger station at Cape Povorotny. The "Kamchatka beavers" – sea otters – haul out here sometimes. The staff at the reserve, who changed the memory card on the automatic device during another round, received fresh pictures and found the bear in them, who, apparently, decided to take a beautiful "selfie" with Kronotskaya Sopka.

In single large males, subcutaneous fat is consumed faster during hibernation, so they begin to experience hunger before females. Female bears with cubs two or three years old leave their dens when environmental conditions become more favorable. And the mothers of "underyearlings" – cubs born at the end of the winter of this year – leave their winter shelters after the snow has melted. As a rule, in Kamchatka this happens at the end of May-June.

After winter sleep, the bears of the Pacific coast feed on fish washed ashore and carcasses of dead marine mammals, and at low tide they feast on bivalve mollusks. They can also get a weak seal or sea otter. During this period, people should be more careful. Employees at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve ask local residents and guests of Kamchatka not to go out into nature alone and take flares with them in order to scare away the awakened bears if something happens.