When most people envision Katmai, they think of bears. Katmai is one of the premier brown bear viewing areas in the world. About 2,200 brown bears are estimated to inhabit the park, and more bears than people are estimated to live on Alaska Peninsula.
As many bear populations around the world decline, Katmai provides some of the few remaining unaltered habitats for these amazing creatures. At Katmai, scientists are able to study bears in their natural habitat, visitors are able to enjoy unparalleled viewing opportunities, and the bears are able to continue their life cycle largely undisturbed.
Nurturing this relationship between people and bears is the key to Katmai's success as a bear-viewing destination. Rangers, scientists, and the public work together to maintaining this fragile balance. It is important that all who visit Katmai respect bears and are armed with the knowledge to stay safe in bear country.
The urge to take the perfect photograph or maintain the best fishing hole with your fly rod can be strong, but bears need space to sleep, eat, rest, travel, and play. By recognizing the needs of the bears and giving them space, each of us plays a role in keeping bears wild.