Western grey whale research update: giant bears are here!

The giant bear in question.This post was filed from the field by the International Fund for Animal Welfare Western Grey Whale Research team collectively. - MV

Are you ready?

We have bears over here!

Wild, hungry and giant bears are here!

Oksana, our photographer, went to the tundra to pick berries.

There she was a nice Ukrainian girl with a basket of fruit within the severe Sakhalin tundra.

Deer were nearby, sun was shining and duck with ducklings were passing by – an idyllic situation.

And suddenly Oksana saw something, what she took firstly for a gorilla.

A giant clubfooted shabby gorilla was in the middle of tundra.

Then Oksana realized that it was something else, not a gorilla.

And this something was approaching her, looking very upset, because of the absence of all the delicious deer.

The bear stood up and started to smell this unusual hornless creature.

Fortunately, Oksana is a zoologist with lots of experience.

Years of work gave her a solution, of what to do in this situation.

Oksana continued to pick berries.

She waited until the bear calm down, then she took berries and went home.

The team with yet another wild pal.Few days later we were observing the bear from the height of the lighthouse.

It was grazing in about 200 feet from our camp. From this distance it looked more like a lonely cow.

This event didn’t prevent us to celebrate a birthday of our dear colleague Stefan.

He turned to 25 years old, too early for being boring and too late for being inexperienced.

In best traditions of expeditions experience we had dances, a holiday pie and evening film festival in lighthouse.

The weather is very windy.

We didn’t have surveys already few weeks. But it’s not rainy. We hope that summer will finally come to us too.

Best wishes and beware of bears!

--The Piltun’s expedition by researching of grey whales team.

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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation