VIDEO: Big 'Ole Grizzly Sits Right Next To Photographer

Some things are difficult to imagine: taking a trip into outer space, a journey to the bottom of the sea, looking into the eyes of a gigantic wild grizzly who is within swiping distance. Wildlife photographer Drew Hamilton didn't have to use his imagination for the last one in that list. 

Grizzly next to chair

He was filming on the McNeil River in the Alaska McNeil River State Game Sanctuary where he had set up his gear next to the water. 

As he captured some genuinely epic wildlife footage, a massive grizzly casually strolled into his camp and sat down directly next to him. Drew handled the terrifying situation like a champ and remained calm throughout the entire episode. He expertly turned his camera on the absolute monster of a grizzly and took some stunning, if not unnerving footage of the bear sitting next to him. 

Grizzly sitting next to chair

Drew wasn't all that surprised by the bear encounter, as McNeil River State Game Sanctuary is teeming with bears. Later in the video, you can see dozens of bears enjoying some incredibly fresh salmon sashimi. Human traffic to the sanctuary is limited, and only a few lucky winners of lottery tickets are allowed entry to the area. 

McNeil River State Game Sanctuary

More famous for its bear population than for the size of the river or the strength of its salmon runs, McNeil River has been featured on many television and film documentaries. The area has become so well-known as a bear-viewing area that in 1973, the State of Alaska began limiting the number of summer visitors to ten per day during peak visitor months of June, July, and August. The area has also been "wired" for remote webcam viewing for those unable to access the river in person.

Various groups have formed to support keeping the area pristine and free from bear-hunting activity. And while the bear population often wanders outside the protected zone, their numbers have gradually continued to rise.

Leave a Comment Here

Dennis (not verified) , Wed, 08/05/2020 - 11:03
Hey hey hey?
Bill (not verified) , Tue, 01/04/2022 - 10:15
Those bears are been there done that bears so dont try that out of the park. I actually got brushed up against at Brooks and very scary moments but she just got pushed out of the territory by another female and didn't mind me in the process.
Anonymous (not verified) , Wed, 08/05/2020 - 14:22
Lang leven de prachtige beren
Waarvan wij er 3 geadopteerd hebben
Robin Mcinnis (not verified) , Wed, 08/05/2020 - 17:52
Hey hey hey?
Bear guy (not verified) , Thu, 08/06/2020 - 19:54
Yo yo yo
ololol (not verified) , Fri, 08/07/2020 - 06:23
omg , OMFG , *surrounded by grizzlys*
Tony (not verified) , Fri, 08/07/2020 - 15:03
Did you see the bear next to him in the video?
Chawlee (not verified) , Sat, 08/28/2021 - 10:43
I somehow feel as though the bear deserves a bigger portion of the finds for surviving such an frightening encounter with a wild humsn
Judith E O'Brien (not verified) , Fri, 08/07/2020 - 18:47
Must have just eaten?
RM (not verified) , Fri, 08/07/2020 - 22:07
The poor bear looks like he was asking for help. The bear appears to be in distress; panting, foamy spittle and the look of being in pain. The eyes looked distant and distracted from pain.
SSVB (not verified) , Sun, 08/22/2021 - 19:29
Former bear keeper, the bear looked full. Ears were relaxed and engaged but not pressed; face was relaxed, no grimace. Eyes don't work as well as the nose, which was getting plenty of input from wind blowing towards them (not carrying scent of human to the bear, but bear to human, good). I got the 'looking for nap spot' impression, not pain.
Heather (not verified) , Wed, 08/25/2021 - 20:04
Hey, I thought that exact thing, he's looking for a nap spot or Maybe that is one of his nap spots & he was hoping the photographer would get the hint and leave ?
Eric (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 17:03
It looked to me like the bear just awoke from his nap, was scanning the water for food and then headed to go get food. The bear could have cared less about the photographer. I just want to know if that guy soiled his pants sitting next to that big guy. I bet he was happy there was at least a chair between them!
Anonymous (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 19:24
That's what I saw too. Super full and ready for post feast nap.
RP (not verified) , Sat, 08/28/2021 - 14:35
Thanks for reassurance from a professional ?
Donna (not verified) , Sun, 08/22/2021 - 21:02
It looked like it was scanning the water for salmon. I think it's worn out from a day of fishing. lol
Mom????? (not verified) , Mon, 08/23/2021 - 19:13
you'll to soon find a new home so dress for heat...
tom d (not verified) , Mon, 08/23/2021 - 02:18
i look like that bear after waking up in the morning.
Mike y (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 06:44
Very observant..jyou may be correct. I appreciate the insight.
Mike Hunt (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 13:46
Sick bear analysis
CJ (not verified) , Mon, 08/23/2021 - 08:58
He probably should have been paying better attention to behind him so this doesn't happen. It could have turned out a lot worse.
hans (not verified) , Mon, 08/23/2021 - 10:51
Would the smell from my pants have been a deterrent? Because that would have happened, not by choice
Julie b (not verified) , Tue, 08/24/2021 - 05:22
?????????me too! Would have needed a whole box of adult diapers"soakems"!?
Linda (not verified) , Mon, 08/23/2021 - 17:22
I would have needed clean underwear snd CPR.
Buck (not verified) , Tue, 08/24/2021 - 07:38
Scuse me while I shake the sxxt out of my drawers
Michael Paliotta (not verified) , Tue, 08/24/2021 - 08:27
As a former guide I had the impression that he was probably full. Also, only because bear are SO damned smart, I have to wonder if he had been watching the photog and decided to see what the heck was so interesting. "No salmon, no chocolate bars, screw you guys I'm going home!"
Susie Johnson (not verified) , Tue, 08/24/2021 - 11:51
Good looking bear. I like the way he looks back at the photo dude as he' s sauntering off like "Whatever dude. You' re tripping".
Anonymous (not verified) , Wed, 08/25/2021 - 16:58
Exactly ....My " Bears " thoughts as well Susie !
Gina Smith (not verified) , Tue, 08/24/2021 - 17:37
I would have been terrified and scared
Pack (not verified) , Tue, 08/24/2021 - 19:16
Way 2 close 4 my taste-but bear acted liked a big old dog-they are cousins
Mallethea (not verified) , Wed, 08/25/2021 - 20:17
Something was up. Didn’t seem sick. Could of eaten something bad and just wanted to relax. Could of been lonely. Just wanted to hang out with someone. He wasn’t interested in harming the human.
Robert Janke (not verified) , Wed, 08/25/2021 - 20:24
That was awesome! Don't get to see that every day
Vickie visculgia (not verified) , Fri, 09/10/2021 - 23:26
That bear was well mannered and perfectly splendid. I envy anyone that can enjoy nature and wild animals. That Bear was Lookin for love.
August (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 04:49
Beautiful ,just beyond beautiful,
Dana (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 10:26
OMG. That would be amazing to see but also very terrifying at the same time.
Dee (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 14:55
I know I would have started freaking out, ? ?
sarah (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 15:39
My favorite part is the fact he had a rifle, which is smart, just in case. Unfortunately you can see it right next to the bear. ? It clearly wasn't needed thankfully.
Ultimate bear … (not verified) , Thu, 08/26/2021 - 16:23
Yeah, I've seen this before, this bear had just finished eating 3-3 people and he thinking he could fit another one in so came up to the top of the hill to get a look at the photographer and probably decided overeating is uncomfortable and it's not good for bears. That's definitely for sure what's going on here.
Maggie (not verified) , Fri, 08/27/2021 - 07:23
Being in nature is beautiful and so is wild life. Bears are so smart but so very dangerous,. I think it keep calm and that helped a lot. I been reading on bears all my life but I have never seen 1 in real life. This bear action like he was just got up or thinking about his salmon issue. He does look like a big teddy bear ?. To all folks out there, be safe and cautious around bears.
Joseph P. Lori (not verified) , Fri, 08/27/2021 - 08:31
" Me and my teddy bear,
Have no worries, have no cares!"
"Me and my teddy bear,
We play and play and play!"
BaconNeggs (not verified) , Sat, 08/28/2021 - 01:01
Not bright folks to be so close. Bears kill them they have to be killed.... only humans.
THIRTYFIVE (not verified) , Sun, 09/05/2021 - 00:53
Doesn't look too threatening does he(she)? Hey Chuck! What's up?
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