Bears on the beach

Baby grizzly bears

Get off my lunch! A pair of angry seagulls were spotted screaming at a pair of baby bears as they dug for tasty clams on a beach.

These four-month-old grizzly cubs in Alaska were busy foraging for razor clams in the mud flats when they were challenged for a tasty find by a pair of noisy seagulls.

The cubs had joined their mother for a search for food on the mudflats of Lake Clark National Park, in Alaska. Shellfish are a rich source of protein for growing bears.

British photographer Richard Garvey-Williams, 52, snapped the incredible set of pictures while watching the young bears play along the beach.

Mr Garvey-Williams, of South Devon, said: “These gulls were making the most of their greatest asset – strong vocal chords – to try to steal the razor clam from the two cubs.

“The summer season is short in Alaska and the wildlife has to make the most of it to find enough food to build reserves for the winter ahead.”

Eventually the two aggressive birds left the baby bears in peace.

Mr Garvey-Williams said: “Fortunately for the two cubs, the seagulls didn’t see the cheeky assault through and backed off at the last minute.

“Perhaps the cubs knew their mother, who was just out of shot, would come to the rescue.”

Mr Garvey-Williams spent several days at the southernmost tip of the national park in June this year.

He said: “The mother bear was very good at finding clams.
“She used her highly sensitive sense of smell and knowledge of what signs to look for on the sand before digging them up in a matter of seconds with her mighty paws.

“She would quickly eat them before moving on to the next, occasionally leaving one for the cubs to provide them with some extra protein.”

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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