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Live Brown Bear & Salmon Cam captivates the web

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 A brown bear fishes in July of 2012 during the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park in Alaska. A new video initiative brings the famed brown bears directly to your computer or smartphone. ( Hicks/AP)Every summer, over one hundred brown bears flock to a stretch of Brooks River in Alaska's Katamai National Park to feast on the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world.

This year is no different, save for the fact that millions of people are now able to watch them live via four HD webcam streams that bring the bears to smartphones, computers and tablets around the world.

"I think it's an unparalleled opportunity for people to get that front row seat of the lives of the bears at Brooks Camp," said Roy Wood, chief of interpretation for Katmai National Park and Preserve to the Associated Press.

"The placement of the cams is fantastic... I mean, they'll be close enough," he said. "You'll be able to identity and follow the individual bears as they use the salmon at Brooks Falls and raise their young here."

If the steadily-trending #bearcam Twitter hashtag (or reports of office workers shouting wildly about fish at their desks) are any indication, many people are catching the show.

The webcams, completely powered by solar and wind power, operate for approximately 17 hours a day - time during which each of these coastal grizzly bears are said to consume as much as 100 pounds of salmon per day.

Viewers of the feed can chat with park rangers right beneath the video player or download a photographic Katmai brown bear guide from the National Park Service to learn more about what they're watching.


"I think when you watch these brown bears, and the salmon going upstream and you see the beauty of this nature, I think it's going to put a smile on your face and a sense of bewilderment and awe you felt a long time ago when we were all kids," said creator Charles Annenberg.

Explore, a multimedia organization that aims to demystify foreign people and places while encouraging lifelong learning, is funding the project in full.

Despite the enormous cost of streaming video from the remote location in Alaska, Annenberg says that no advertising will be sold.

"The mission is simple. We simply want people to fall in love with the world again."

Explore currently hosts several live-streaming webcam projects, including feeds of polar bears in Scandinavia, belugas in Vancouver and a golden retriever and her new litter of service-dogs-in-training in the U.S.

If you could train a webcam on any group of creatures, what would you choose? Let us know in the comment section below.

Tags: POV

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