14 Dec 16. Allow me to introduce you to Sam. A real nice guy once you get to know him, but like Iron Mike, he has a bit of attitude about him and weighing in at 1050 pounds, is pretty much one left to himself. In fact, he is always alone as he doesn't play well with others. Sam is currently one of eight bears residing at the Grizzly and Wold Discovery Center. Sam was placed in captivity as a young cub after his mother disappeared in Alaska. He wandered into a fishing village where people (young and old) began hand-feeding him, becoming quite the attraction and a dangerous situation. Without a mother to care for him and becoming habituated to human food, he had to be placed in captivity and arrived at the Center in 1996. He has been a "roadside" attraction ever since, but not the type that we could have encountered (Jan did!) in our youth. Just as with the shot of Akela I shared on Monday, with a little patience and careful observation to get yourself properly positioned, you can not only get some nice shots at the center but learn a lot about the animals as they interact with their as close to possible natural environment. The enclosure for the bears is being more than doubled and sometime in the next couple of years they will be adding 8 more dens for 8 more bears and opening up an additional acre for them to explore. With a bit of patience on your part you might just get to see one or more of the bears here on camera. Be sure to plan to spend at least the better part of one day at the center when you next visit Yellowstone National Park. You will find the time well spent. In this shot Sam has just gone for a refreshing swim in the 45 degree weather and is in the process of seeking out a few snacks before the always present annoying ravens beat him to it. ever so often one of them gets a bit too close and it becomes a matter of whose reflexes are the best when Sam takes a swing at them. To date, I've never seen a single raven knocked out of the park.
The base image received removal of distracting elements, given some dodging and burning, and then modified with the Topaz plug-in Impression 2. Goal was to give the impression of a wet Sam lecturing the ravens. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture Priority; ISO 400; 1/100 sec @ f / 7.1.