This guide is a representative sample of the brown bears who frequent the Brooks River in Katmai National Park, and not a complete checklist of the entire population. Featured bears include those visitors most often see, or ones who have experienced a life event common to brown bears.
This information draws on years of field observations conducted by biologists attempting to document long term patterns of bear use along the river. Even for observers with such training and experience, it can be difficult to identify individuals.
Recognizing individuals is enjoyable and exciting, but watching how bears behave is equally rewarding and ultimately teaches observers more than memorizing a particular bear’s physical appearance. This is especially true when bears gather in large concentrations.