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An adult female bear peers through a dense thicket of cow parsnip. During the summer months, Kodiak turns a lush, vibrant green as thick vegetation carpets the island. Kodiak bears balance their diet with a variety of plants, including grass. Photo by Lisa Hupp. With 1.9-million acres to wander and no portion more than 15 miles from the Pacific, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge includes some of the most diverse habitat on the planet, covering the southern two-thirds of Kodiak Island, all of Ban and Uganik islands, and a section of Afognak Island. Though notorious for its famed denizen, the Kodiak brown bear, a genetically distinct subspecies of browns/grizzlies, the refuge protects more than just big bruins. Consider that among the lush fjords, valleys, wetlands, and 4,000-foot peaks, more than 1,000 pairs of nesting bald eagles claim the area as their home, along with 250 species of migrating or breeding fish,…

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Teresa Whipple loves bears more than beer, rodeos, and even eight-week old yellow lab puppies. She began her bear viewing and guiding career a decade ago in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. There, she met a coastal grizzly nicknamed Bella, whose beauty, elegance, and intelligence inspired Teresa to venture deep into the bear world. Now, Teresa leads bear viewing trips all over Alaska, including grizzly havens like Admiralty Island and Katmai National Park. Right around the time brown bears are denning up for the winter, she often travels to Hudson Bay to guide polar bear adventures. After years of hanging with bears, Teresa created Ursus Major Training & Consulting, a company that specializes in bear safety training and education. Bear behavior and safety are complex, nuanced topics, and there’s a lot of contradictory information out there. Teresa’s training programs are customized to companies’ and individuals’ unique needs and offer a…

Lynx on the cover of July August Wildlife issue

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