Brown bears in Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA
Feeling grizzly?. Get the bear facts
If you want to see a brown bear in the wild - and from a safe distance - this is a good time to head to Katmai National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska, USA. This huge park is home to the largest population of protected brown bears on the continent, about 2,200 of them. In summer and early autumn, these normally solitary creatures come together and wade into rivers and streams to feast on salmon returning home to spawn.So, are these brown bears or grizzlies? That's complicated. In North America, there are several subspecies of brown bears that vary in size and colouring, though they're all members of the same species (Ursus arctos) that is also found in parts of Europe and Asia. (It’s the most widely distributed bear species in the world.) In general, ‘grizzlies’ are brown bears that live inland in Alaska, as well as in Canada and parts of the lower 48 US states. When people refer to brown bears, they’re generally talking about bears like these two, which roam the coastal areas of Alaska and tend to be bigger. They go by several names: Alaskan brown bears, coastal brown bears, peninsula brown bears, and peninsula grizzlies. Kodiak bears, which live on nearby Kodiak Island, are considered the largest of all the brown bear subspecies.