Sleeping with Bears

Brown Bear at dusk
Brown Bear at dusk

Last night I spent the night in a hide in the swamp. The weather was great, with now and then a rain shower, but also terrific evening light. The only problem was that the bears didn’t show up until near sunset… But when he came, he didn’t leave. He appeared at the edge of the forest to the side of my hide and kept on coming closer and closer. He methodically moved between feeding places. The little light that was available came from the back, lighting up his fur nicely. After a while he found a larger piece of meat, which he took with him to the forest. Half an hour later, I was just getting ready to go to bed, he came back. This kept on going for a while and over an hour. Meanwhile I was already in bed, but now I heard something really nearby. When I looked out, I saw a bear at only 10 meters distance eating his food. Even though it was getting really dark, I still managed to get a picture.

Brown Bear, an hour after sunset, made with 70mm lens...
Brown Bear, an hour after sunset, made with 70mm lens…

Throughout the night I kept on hearing chewing or splashing footsteps of bears walking nearby… Unfortunately the light had really gone now, so I couldn’t take any pictures anymore. But it’s still a great feeling, laying in bed, knowing a bear is just 10 meters and 2cm of wood away from you…


Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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