A wildlife photographer in Alaska captured two huge male brown bears on video in what he said was “the longest and most intense bear interaction I have ever witnessed.”
On May 8, brad josephs (opens in a new tab) was visiting Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska when he caught the two grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) going head to head in a display of dominance during mating season, according to outdoor magazine (opens in a new tab). The fight was not between equals either; one male was larger and older while the other was smaller and younger, according to petapixel (opens in a new tab).
Josephs uploaded the video to his Youtube channel (opens in a new tab)where it has already received more than 252,000 views.
“It just went on and on,” Josephs told Outside magazine. “I was amazed at the determination and stamina of both bears as they battled for mating season dominance rights.”
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The heartwarming video, which runs for nearly nine minutes, begins with the two males on all fours before finally standing on their hind legs and wrestling with each other. At one point, the bears can be seen catching their breath before going into the second round.
On average, Brown bears they stand 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) tall at the shoulder when on all fours, but can reach a height of nearly 9 feet (2.7 m) on their hind legs. Male brown bears can weigh up to 860 pounds (390 kilograms).
Bear mating season typically runs from May to July and it’s not uncommon for larger males to chase away smaller males, while “peer” males will fight for dominance, as seen in this video, according to he Bear Center of North America (opens in a new tab).
At the end of the video, one of the bears admits defeat and steps back, bowing its head in submission.
“He’s got his head down, basically going, ‘Sorry I lost,'” Josephs said in the clip. “And the winner leaves.”
Alaska has the highest grizzly bear population of any state or province. Of the 60,000 wild brown bears found in North America, around 30,000 are found in Alaska, according to PetaPixel.