Photo of the week: Running into a brown bear near the loo

We were driving up the Sterling Highway from the town of Homer, at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula in south central Alaska and as always we pulled into a parking lot to use the public toilet.

This time, we happened to pull into a lot by the side of a stream and were about to jump out to run to the loo when we spotted him just in time – a brown bear strolling along on the bank probably waiting for a run of salmon.

We’d come across warnings all over Alaska about what to do in the event of running into a bear and I was so glad we had spotted  him before getting out of our camper van. I wasn’t sure I could pull off playing dead or bully him into believing I was more ferocious.

So we had the pleasure of watching him from the safety of our camper van while he remained completely oblivious to us. But pretty soon, other cars on the highway spotted him as well and started pulling in and our exclusive wildlife viewing gallery was now crowded with cars.

In Alaska, take all those bear warnings seriously.

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