It wouldn’t be difficult to mount an argument that the encroachment of humanity into all the wild places on the Earth has only ever been to the detriment of nature as a whole and that we have done nothing but ruin all these places of incredible beauty but, at the same time, THERE ARE WEBCAMS WHERE YOU CAN WATCH BEARS.

Living in Brisbane, the opportunities afforded to me to watch bears in their natural environment are so infrequent that I would maybe go as far to say that there are none, which is why I cherish the fact that several national parks in the US broadcast the activities of the bears they are fortunate enough to contain.

Like me, you probably spent the last few months in panicked anguish at the absence of Katmai National Park‘s bear cams, but panic no longer: they are back online for the season.

Katmai, situated in Alaska about 400km southwest of Anchorage, is home to a large population of brown bears that love nothing more* than catching salmon while you voyeuristically watch them from afar.

One of their channels is even dedicated solely to ‘meditation’, featuring serene images of bears wading through still waters and salmon swimming under water, matched with the relaxing sounds of birds and insects going about their inscrutable lives.

There is no shortage of bear-related content, ranging from underwater bear cams to bears fishing at the falls to one that (when I was watching it) was just some bears walking on a road.

Anela Ramos, district interpreter with the National Park Service, says that the cameras serve a dual purpose, allowing them to learn more about bear behaviour (bearhaviour?):

Especially with so many young bears running around this season, the cams provide a remarkable opportunity to increase our understanding of the behavior of brown bears. It is a really valuable educational tool.

You can find a link to all the available streams right here.