COMM: Home to the world’s largest concentration of wild brown bears, the 200 square mile McNeal
River area is a protected wildlife sanctuary. COMM: Between June and August, bears of all ages congregate in the area to feed on the
salmon travelling upstream to spawn. COMM: Photographer Daniel Wise spent eight hours a day surrounded by bears, often fighting
over fishing territory. But to visit the sanctuary and get this close, you must apply through
a lottery system, as no more than 10 individuals at a time are allowed at the viewing locations.
Daniel applied twice before he could take the trip, travelling by floatplane from Homer, Alaska. COMM: All five species of pacific salmon can be found in the McNeil River, but it is chum
or dog salmon that primarily lure these bears into the waters. COMM: Although it may look dangerous, no visitor to the reserve has ever been injured by the
bears, as all activities are respectful of the brown bears’ home.