Bumbershooting Bears in Alaska

September 20, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

Dick Van Dyke in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sang:
Me ol’ bam-boo, me ol’ bam-boo
You’d better never bother with me ol’ bam-boo
You can have me hat or me bumbershoot
But you’d better never bother with me ol’ bam-boo.

I’ve heard of lots of different ways to discourage bears from messing with your bam-boo, but National Geographic filmmaker Mark Emery takes the cake for inventiveness. He carries an umbrella, which he opens when the bears get to close. “I asked Emery about the technical challenges of shooting bears in Katmai — what kind of lenses are needed, how long the shots would have to be, will the photographer be 100 yards away from the bears? Two-hundred yards? ‘How about 10 feet away?‘ Emery laughed.” Michael Harris writes about the bears of Katmai National Park for ABC News.