During our stay in Campbell River we visited the Quinsam River Hatchery four times. Not because of the salmon, which were interesting all on their own, no, we went there to see bears…
You see, a few days before Campbell River we learned that many black bears in the area had figured out that salmon were easy to catch at this hatchery, and they had been showing up there for an easy meal ever since.
On our 4th and last visit to the hatchery, we got lucky and saw a black bear from up close:
The unfortunate pink salmon stood very little chance against this big predator. The salmon pool was quite shallow so the bear would just look for the tastiest individual and grab it out of the water with its mouth.
After this, the bear would devour the salmon right in front of us, and the poor fish was alive for most of the ordeal:
What a gruesome spectacle, I can’t wait to go back!