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Photos: Grizzlies in the Bridge River Valley

Cliff Jennings' photos were captured in the South Chilcotins

Longtime Whistler resident Cliff Jennings shared these stunning photos with Pique recently, captured in the Bridge River Valley beginning in 2002.

Jennings watched grizzly bears come and go from his family's cabin for 15 years. Though he has since sold the cabin at Tyaughton Lake, he treasures the photographs he took of healthy bears in their natural element. 

The remote area is at the foot of the South Chilcotin Mountains, and was once a prospectors' dream in the middle of B.C.'s historic gold rush.

Jennings' pup Zoe even became well acquainted with the family's large neighbours.

The first photos were taken in 2002, with the same bears appearing until 2017.

In his recent book, renowned grizzly researcher Bruce McLellan shared findings and observations from his 43 seasons in the field, including his time studying the bears from a log cabin on the bank of the Flathead River.

McLellan and his wife began the Flathead grizzly project when the couple were just in their mid-20s and raised their kids amongst the bears. The leading expert raised his concerns about the impact that humans have had on the species. 

“Once a grizzly bear gets to be about two years old, they end up being killed by people,” he said. “They very, very rarely die naturally. They mostly end up getting killed by people in one way or another. Most bears die because people kill them.”