Terrifying moment massive grizzly bear creeps up behind two men fishing who are oblivious to danger lurking just yards awayOctober 2, 2019
TWO oblivious fishermen were advised to disab-bear when a photographer snapped a famished grizzly lurking several feet away, in the bushes behind them.
But the staunch duo were so keen to hook salmon in an Alaskan beauty spot that they merely shrugged off their hairy competition, and kept on fishing.
Wildlife photographer Robert Hawthorne captured the terrifying moment when the hungry predator crept up on the unnamed men fishing on his turf while they posed for the camera.
The frightening photo was recently taken on a remote creek in Katmai National Park, Alaska, and reveals the young male bear looming behind them.
Hawthorne, 21, warned the fishermen – but only after he'd quickly snapped the bear.
The Montana-born man specialises in wildlife, landscape and action sports photography.
According to his website, "you simply can't beat taking photos of a 600 pound grizzly."
He told a news agency that, luckily for the visitors, the bear was more interested in the salmon and didn't appear interested in attacking them.
Hawthorne added: "Believe it or not, the fishermen were thinking about nothing but their fishing.
"They were oblivious to the bear behind them.
"I believe this photo strikes a nerve for a lot of people.
"Many people shiver and recoil when they see it, imagining themselves in the fishermen's shoes.
"And then they immediately ask, 'what happened next? Are they alive?' People can't imagine being that close to a bear and not being attacked, and I don't blame them.
"The bear truly was not interested in the fishermen, although he may have been interested to see if they had caught a fish for stealing."
Hawthorne was guiding a photography tour in the location when he snapped the extraordinary shot.
He said there were no cubs nearby at the time.
They were oblivious to the bear behind them.
A wildlife photographer since 2015, he said it is a common misconception about bears that they are out to kill you.
Hawthorne said: "The fishermen did have a good startle when they realised their spectator, but it was clear he was not threatening so they quickly returned to fishing.
"When given protection such as a habitat like Katmai National Park, and especially when bears are so focused on a single food source like salmon, close and passive encounters can happen daily without risk of attack.
"This is more of a common occurrence than you think. The bears walk up and down the banks looking to find sockeye salmon to catch.
"It can happen several times a day that you have a bear walk close behind you.
"They make their rounds walking up and down the banks only stopping to take a dive after some fish.
"The bear was looking right past the fishermen into the water hoping to see salmon ready for the catching.
"After the bear had a good look around for salmon, he continued his walk downstream."
Nature reports that 50 per cent of attacks by bears – more than 11 attacks occur annually in North America – take place when people are engaged in leisure activities such as hiking, fishing, picking berries or jogging.
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