Title: Nursing Bear
Location & Date: East Entrance Road, Yellowstone National Park | 2015
Camera Set-Up: Nikon D800 w/ 200-400 @ 400mm
Shutter Speed: 1/800th
There are few moments in wildlife photography more intimate than having the opportunity to document a mother nursing her young – especially grizzlies nursing. In the summer of 2015 when the Yellowstone grizzly known as Raspberry appeared in the frontcountry with her first set of cubs, several photographers were given a show of a lifetime. After hours of grazing one early morning, she crossed the road and decided to nurse within a few yards of our safely parked vehicles. Though the light was harsh and rising sun was in about the worst spot possible, to be able to watch wild grizzlies close-up and without fear engage in such a tender, private moment is what wildlife photography is all about. It’s the chance to capture images that demonstrate that powerful and dangerous creatures like grizzlies are also loving and soulful animals. I can only hope that images like this will make people rethink their preconceived notions about predators and understand they aren’t our enemy, but animals we must respect and protect.