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Bears are getting closer! A look from the depths

One and a half year old cubs are played with an underwater camera on the Kuril Lake

Dynamic photo session in the South Kamchatka Federal Reserve named after Tikhon Shpilenko. 4 offspring of a bear, nicknamed Matryokha, frolic at the Ozernaya cordon on Lake Kuril, home to the largest protected group of brown bears in Russia. The author of the pictures was not in danger, which cannot be said about the video camera - there are too many curious noses and claws. 

Bears are getting closer! A look from the depths
Photo: Mikhail Korostelev

"This year, like a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to take pictures of the bears on Lake Kuril in a hurry. South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Refuge named after Tikhon Shpilenok. I decided to prepare well for this shooting. I bought a new camera and a new underwater box for it with a remote trigger on a 10-meter wire. It turned out interesting and there were many ideas for filming in the next season "- said the photographer in his blog Mikhail Korostelev. 

Brown bears are the main fishermen in Kurilsk, in a season up to 200 bears can be simultaneously along the shores of the lake, recklessly chasing sockeye salmon, playing with each other, raising clouds of scarlet caviar and spray, or already well-fed, freely falling apart under the canopy of trees. The waters of the reservoir invariably seethe with an abundance of fish; in August-September, up to 5 million sockeye salmon come to spawn in the Kuril Lake, but its spawning is unusually extended and lasts until spring. Spawning in red fish continues even under ice.

At the top of the Kuril food pyramid are brown bears and Steller's sea eagles, a step lower are consumers, foxes, wolverines, ermines, voles, shrews, and representatives of the winged brotherhood - crows. The South Kamchatka Wildlife Refuge is an animal house, and here predators are not at all afraid of humans.

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