Picture this: You’re a nature photographer camped out next to a river in Alaska when there’s a rustling to your left. You turn to see an absolutely massive grizzly bear standing next to you, casually observing the scene before you.
While your first instinct is to run away screaming, you manage to keep your cool. The bear eventually hunkers down next to you, hanging out like one of the boys. You half expect him to ask for a cold beer.
As far-fetched as this scenario sounds, it actually happened to photographer Drew Hammond! Drew was in Alaska for the salmon run, a period from August to September when salmon make their way upstream from the ocean to lay their eggs. Alaskan bears flock to these areas during the season to fill their bellies with fish before settling down for their winter hibernation.
Drew was photographing the bears in the river when one of them crept right up on him and plopped himself down as if to say, “What are we watching?” Once he found out Drew was just studying a bunch of bears eating salmon, the grizzly lost interest and wandered off — but not before giving us all a heart attack!