Monday, January 24, 2011

Catch of the day: Dramatic close-up pictures of wild bears fishing for survival

Fish supper: A wild bear is captured hunting for salmon in a lake in Kamchatka, Russia

Salmon may be a popular choice on restaurant menus, but, it seems, it is also a favourite with wild bears.

A dramatic new series of photographs, by Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov, show the bears fishing for their supper in Kurile Lake in Kamchatka, Russia.

The wildlife enthusiast risked his life swimming just a few feet from the animals at the rural site, which is home to more than 18,000 of them.

Gorshkov, who lived in a tent in the woods, spent six years following them as they hunted for salmon, paddled in a lake and walked for miles through forests.

He said: 'These photographs show a little of what I saw and lived through living side by side with bears.

'The lake is the largest spawning ground for red salmon in Eurasia and the best place for bears. They come here every year from generation to generation.

'I went there after seeing a television documentary and became absorbed.

Making a splash: The bear's impressive strength and speed is no match for the salmon

Standing to attention: Kurile Lake in Kamchatka, Russia is home to more than 18,000 bears

'I go to the woods and stay near the bears in a tent - always fighting with severe weather conditions, curious young bears and even with myself.

'Photographing bears is risky. I have got as close to the bears in the wild as you could in the zoo.

'It is only now, looking back, that I realise how dangerous it was. Bears have caused more injuries to photographers than lions, tigers, leopards and sharks combined.'

Risky business: Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov spent six years following the dangerous animals

Bear nerve: Gorshkov had to be as close to the animals as possible to get his remarkable pictures

Gorshkov, from Moscow, Russia, added: 'I always follow the work of other photographers who take pictures of bears.

'I knew that nobody had taken a picture of a bear under water and I had a clear idea in my mind of what I wanted.

'To achieve my dream I spent hours in the icy water, where some bears saw me as prey - it was scary.'

source: dailymail

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