Don't say I didn't warn you. The live cam trained on Alaskan brown bears pursuing salmon around a falls is addicting. You're going to want to watch it all day. Fortunately there's an important upside to this procrastination.
The exclusive live cam comes courtesy of Explore, a multimedia organization started by the Annenburg Foundation with the aim of demystifying foreign people and places, showing our common humanity, and encouraging lifelong learning. This being July, we're now entering the best time to watch brown bears at Brooks Falls, part of Katmai National Park in Alaska.
Watch the live cam here.
At Brooks Falls, brown bears feast on the world's largest sockeye salmon run. The site explains that brown bears consume up to 40 salmon - as much as 100 pounds - daily. These coastal grizzly bears will also crowd the salmon run when it's thinnest because on days when fish are hopping the bears tend to be full and asleep. To find out what you're watching, the National Park Service publishes a photographic Katmai brown bear guide (PDF).
When the season has just started, the bears will eat the whole fish and then later eat only the fat-rich parts, according to Explore.org. Watching the cam just to get a screenshot, I found myself saying "Get it! Get it!" to one of the bears closest to the rapids. When it finally snagged a salmon, I cheered, and then the camera operator zoomed in to show the bear eat for a few seconds.
Conservation efforts have long struggled to get the general public to care as much about saving fish as it does polar bears. Maybe if more of us watch the Bear and Salmon Cam, salmon's vital importance will become clearer. Without salmon, there wouldn't be any bears.
Photo: A screenshot of the Brown Bear and Salmon Cam trained on Brooks Falls in Alaska operated by the Annenberg Foundation's Explore.org.