Brooks River in Katmai National Park is unique among bear watching sites, because its bears are known individuals with life histories so well documented that several are veritable internet celebrities. Many return to Brooks River year after year, some for their entire lives, a phenomenon we can watch on the bearcams. At Brooks River, bears are not anonymous wildlife, but unique individuals that we can know. Perhaps no other place offers the public the same wildlife watching opportunity.
Many of these same bears feature prominently in my book, The Bears of Brooks Falls. I explore how Otis and 747 satisfy their profound hunger, how 856 establishes and maintains his dominance, how 402 and other female bears navigate the mating season, and how mother bears like 273 nurture their vulnerable cubs.
Since watching the lives of individual bears is a focus of many bearcam fans, I’m frequently asked, “Mike, which bears are on the cover of your book?”
I’ve steadfastly refused to answer, until now that is. I’ll answer, I promise, but you’ll have to do a bit of work first, and perhaps win a copy of my book in the process. Here’s how.
- Guess the identity of the bears on the print and audiobook covers.
- Submit your answers.
- Wish yourself good luck.
Three prize categories will be awarded. *
- Correct answers to the identities of bears on the print book cover will be entered into a drawing to receive a personalized signed copy by the author of The Bears of Brooks Falls.
- Correct answers to the identities of bears on the audiobook cover will be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of the audiobook of The Bears of Brooks Falls.
- Everyone who submits answers, whether correct or not, will be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of the print book.
If you feel a bit unsure about which bears are on the book covers, here are some hints to consider.
- On the print book cover, one of the bears hasn’t been seen at Brooks River in many years and is presumed deceased. The other two continue to use Brooks River, now as older individuals.
- On the audiobook cover, only one of the bears was identified at the river in 2020. The other has not been seen since 2013.
- Neither the print or audiobook cover photos were taken within the last seven years, but they were taken after 2005.
- All the bears in the photos are male.
- No bear is on both covers.
- All the bears have their own page on the Katmai Bearcams Wiki.
Katmai National Park’s The Bears of Brooks River: A Guide to Their Identification, Lives, and Habits is an excellent resource to peruse, although it also may be worthwhile to browse an older version (look for those on Bears of Brooks River on npshistory.com).
Submit your answers through July 20, 2021 and good luck!
*The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.