I have this picture in a frame downstairs in my family room. I took it a few years back at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, MT. If you click on the link, you just might see this particular bear in some of the pictures. This is a really interesting place to see grizzlies and wolves right on the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park. The animals here cannot be released back into the wild and it's a great place to see them up close. We usually go to the center when we're visiting the park. There's an interactive area indoors, a really cool gift shop, and then you go outside to see the live animals. We usually stay at an RV park just down the road, so at night we can hear the wolves howling. West Yellowstone is a cool little town with lots of great shops and things to do.
But seriously, this picture creeps me out. As you know, I dream a lot about bears and I'm sure having this picture hanging up doesn't help. If you click on it, you can see it larger. Can you believe how small the eyes are on this grizzly? How can something so massive have such tiny eyes? Grizzly bears can reach up to 1000 pounds in some cases. With eyes this small, I guess it helps to have a 500-1000 pound body and 4-inch long claws!
Rick and I watched The Bear recently. I'd never seen it, but someone on Facebook mentioned it, so I got a copy from Netflix. It's definitely worth seeing. It's about a grizzly cub who becomes orphaned and is adopted by a male grizzly who has been injured by hunters. Apparently, this has happened before where a male has befriended a cub, but it's not common. Most of the time male grizzlies are the biggest threats to cubs. The story takes place in the 19th century and to be honest, it's not a feel-good movie. The bears are being stalked by the hunters and their dogs. The cub gets captured and tormented. And then there's a stupid scene where the male mates with a female while the cub has silly hallucinations from eating mushrooms. They could have totally left that out and made it a better film, not to mention more family friendly. We fast-forwarded through that, but the rest of the movie is awesome and the photography and scenery is spectacular. I enjoyed the special features on how they made it more than the film itself. Regardless, it has a happy ending, which was nice.
My newest middle grade novel features grizzly bears. When I was researching for my story, I listened to a lot of bear sounds online. I tell you, grizzly bears sound scary as hell! All the sounds in The Bear were made by actual animals and I had a few flashbacks listening to them. As much as I love seeing bears in the wild, even grizzlies, I hope I never hear those sounds up close.