The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 15, 2013

Famed Katmai brown bears ready for season 2

KATMAI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, Alaska (AP) — Stars snarling at each other, mate swapping, dominant males posturing and establishing their territory.

It's not quite "Jersey Shore," but these are among the highlights of the second season of an Internet reality show coming your way this week.

The stars are the brown bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve in remote Alaska. Eight web cams, an increase of five from last year, have been set up at various parts of the park to livestream the daily life and drama of the park's famed bears. Social aspects also have been enhanced, with live web chats planned with rangers and scientists, and a new photo sharing feature.

"We know that Katmai is a cost-prohibitive place to visit so not a lot of people get the opportunity to come here," park ranger Michael Fitz said.

"We still want people to have an understanding of what Katmai is like, and enjoy, especially enjoy the brown bears that are here, so explore.org is able to partner with Katmai to provide many different webcams along the Brooks River so you have a chance to watch the bears and have an opportunity to experience their lives," Fitz said.

About 10,000 people a year visit the park about 250 miles west of Anchorage, which is only accessibly by float plane. Katmai is on the Alaska Peninsula, across the Shelikof Strait from Kodiak Island.

Among the new camera views this year will be another angle from Brooks Falls, where bears — as many as four abroad one day last week— stand in the water and try to catch salmon traveling upriver to spawn. The new camera is at eye-level of the bears, a perspective that neither rangers nor visitors see. Cameras also are situated at the riffles, a few hundred yards downstream from the falls, and at the lower river, where cameras will catch the bears fishing near the pedestrian bridge, oftentimes sharing the river with anglers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014