By Mark McConville
WATCH the moment a hero male Grizzly bear jumped in to save a mother and her cub after they were attacked by another 1000lb male.
The action footage shows a number of bears feeding on a huge whale carcass before the bully bear suddenly charges at the cub as the mum tries to protect it.
Unfortunately the mother is no match for the huge bully but luckily for her a knight in furry armour jumped in to save the day.
The thrilling video was captured in Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA, by naturalist guide for natural habitat adventures, Brad Josephs (43), from Yellville, Arkansas, USA.
“There is no food on earth more attractive to bears than whale blubber, and the strong scent draws them in from many miles around,” he said.
“Blubber is what keeps marine mammals warm in cold water, and in whales it can be a foot thick. The lipid content and blood vessel concentration of blubber is much higher than other fatty tissues in nature, which makes it a better insulator for a living whale, and incredibly nutritious for scavenging bears.
“A very complex and dynamic hierarchy quickly develops when multiple bears have found a whale carcass. These bears on the coast have evolved special social skills and what I call ‘personal space flexibility.’ They can share concentrated food sources, like a salmon stream, with other bears, rather than spend too much energy in competition. We saw as many as four bears eating the whale at one time, and on several occasions, a wolf and a bear feeding together.
“Most of the bears were mellow and didn’t mind sharing, but during the several days we spent there we saw several giant males (at least 1,000 pounds) who weren’t so tolerant. When one of these big guys was eating, the younger bears and females had to sit out until he was full and fast asleep. When more than one big guy was hungry at the same time, they had to decide who the real ‘carcass boss’ was.
“We had seen Bully and another male of similar size posturing to each other to vie for dominance. The tensions were high, and a fight between them was imminent for sure. Instead, Bully attacks a blond female with a third summer cub.
“Bully’s sheer size, and the proximity to the water’s edge, made for a grave situation that I thought would be fatal for the mother bear. But out of nowhere, the competing male charges and fully engages with ‘Bully.’ This male did in fact save the mother bear from a likely death, but who knows why he did it.
“Was he trying to be a hero? I think he saw an opportunity at gaining an upper hand on his competitor while he was distracted, but with an animal as complex as a grizzly bear, you can’t know for sure, and that’s what makes watching bears so amazing.”