We visited Pack Creek on Admiralty Island using Alaska Fish'n'Fly Charters in Juneau. We, Patti & I, Jerry & Cindee Adams, our guide Sarah Dunlap, a Forest Service ranger, and another group of six people were lucky enough to witness a fish theft. One juvenile bear was having trouble getting a fish. It had been hanging out on the shore of the channel with what appeared to be its mother and a cub. But at best she ignored it and a couple of times she tried to drive it off.
Eventually the sow and cub returned to the forest and our little friend tried its luck in the creek but to no avail. After a while another juvenile appeared to try its hand. The bears moved off together up the creek when Bear #2 snagged a nice salmon. A scramble ensued and Bear #1 popped out of the creek fish in mouth.
The bears were about 100 meters away from our perch on a small rise overlooking the creek. Bear #1 was running full tilt in our direction with Bear #2 about 10 meters behind. This was all very interesting but what else could happen?
Bear #1 continued in our direction! We got a little nervous but surely the bears would soon veer off. The Ranger turned to reach for something but it was only his camera and not his rifle!
Perhaps Bear #1 is playing "chicken" with the people. "If I get close enough Bear #2 will give up the chase." And so Bear #1 ran into our observatory and cut a corner between the people before heading off into the forest to our left. Bear #2 about this time noticed that Bear #1 has led it to Humans! It stopped short, noticed Bear #1 running to the trees, and headed off after it.
The bears disappeared into the forest. We heard a scramble though the underbrush but then all was quiet. Who got the fish? Did Bear #1 make good its escape? Was Bear #2 able to regain its catch? Were the bears able to reconcile and share their mid-morning repast? We'll never know! Bear #1 then Bear #2 returned to the creek to try again but no such luck before we had to leave.
On our way out we observed the bear Pest and her cub. We had heard of Pest when we met Judy Hall in Haines a couple of days earlier. Perhaps she will relate her to tale of her chase and escape from Pest somewhere. But Judy will be happy to know Pest continues to pass her genes along at Pack Creek, Alaska.