Solent News & Photo Agency This friendly grizzly bear waved at the camera.
Credit: Kevin Dietrich/Solent News

This friendly bear cub raised a furry paw to wave at surprised animal lovers. The young female grizzly made the cute gesture as she braved Alaska’s chilly glacier water to watch her mother catch salmon. Amateur photographer Kevin Dietrich, 33, spoke to Metro about the charming moment he captured on camera.

Where did you take this amusing photograph?

In the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. My brother and I spent 14 days there searching for grizzly bears in the wild. We found a mother and two cubs hunting for food. The mother caught about seven salmon and this little cub was very excited and animated as she waited for her to bring back food to the shore.

 

Once the mother caught a salmon, the youngster would sprint around the edge of the river to meet her and try to get her share of the food. It seems because of her high level of energy and desire to eat she was just bursting with excitement and couldn’t resist giving us a wave.

Did you feel in any danger being close to a grizzly?

Yes, we did feel apprehensive; the mother bear had noticed us from afar approaching to take a photograph. But we never got closer than 10 meters to the bears, we created a happy medium where the mother was comfortable with our presence. She and her cubs were relaxed enough to fall asleep in front of us after their filling meal of seven salmon.

What has been the reaction to your picture?

Someone thought it was a man in a bear suit! But seriously, people have found this seemingly human-like gesture wildlife the most appealing aspect.

And for you, what does this image represent: Is it more than a pleasurable shot of a cute bear?

In a way it sums up what Alaska is all about: a grizzly bear in the wild, the pristine glacial water, the vibrant colors... But in another way it only represents part of that Alaskan experience; there are so many other sights that can encapsulate that natural wildness.

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