The brown bears that inhabit The Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska may not know they are reality stars, but their fame is about to continue as the internet reality show has been extended for a second season. Last season, five hidden web cams gave viewers an up-close look at the snarling, mate swapping and dominant males establishing their territory. This year, they have upped the ante, increasing to eight cameras streaming the daily drama that the bears encounter. There are also some new additions to help viewers get a better idea of what is going on. There will be live web chats with park rangers and scientists, as well as a social photo-sharing program.
Each year, about 10,000 people visit the park, which is nestled in the mountains about 250 miles west of Anchorage. Generally the area is only accessible by a float plane, so it can be a difficult and likely expensive vacation. Park ranger Michael Fitz says that with the help of explore.org, millions will now be able to experience the beauty and raw nature of the Katmai, without leaving home.
The added cameras this year will show a second angle from Brooks Falls, which is a favorite location for the brown bears to wade in the waters to catch salmon traveling upriver to spawn. The best part of this new camera is that it allows an eye-level perspective of the action – one that neither rangers nor visitors would be able to experience. There will also be two new cameras stacked on each other on the bridge to capture views from both above and below the water to capture the actions of the bears and the salmon during their fight for survival.
Source: Anchorage Daily News