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Photographer snaps fishermen oblivious to huge bear behind them

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The bear lurked just metres behind the two fishermen. Picture: Robert Hawthorne/Kennedy NewsSource:Kennedy News and Media

Two fishermen were caught on camera looking completely oblivious as a famished grizzly lurked several metres away in the bushes behind them.

The amazing image shows the men staring directly into wildlife photographer Robert Hawthorne’s camera, looking a bit confused, while the massive predator stands behind them.

The frightening photo was recently taken on a remote creek in Katmai National Park, Alaska, and reveals the young male bear looming behind them, The Sun reports.

Hawthorne, 21, said he warned the fishermen — but only after he’d quickly snapped the bear.

The Montana-born photographer specialises in wildlife, landscape and action sports photography.

According to his website, “You simply can’t beat taking photos of a 600 pound (272kg) grizzly.”

He told a news agency that, luckily for the visitors, the bear was more interested in the salmon and didn’t appear interested in attacking them.

The bear lurked just metres behind the two fishermen. Picture: Robert Hawthorne/Kennedy News

The bear lurked just metres behind the two fishermen. Picture: Robert Hawthorne/Kennedy NewsSource:Kennedy News and Media

“Believe it or not, the fishermen were thinking about nothing but their fishing,” he said.

“They were oblivious to the bear behind them.

“I believe this photo strikes a nerve for a lot of people.

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“Many people shiver and recoil when they see it, imagining themselves in the fishermen’s shoes.

“And then they immediately ask, ‘What happened next? Are they alive?’ People can’t imagine being that close to a bear and not being attacked, and I don’t blame them.

“The bear truly was not interested in the fishermen, although he may have been interested to see if they had caught a fish for stealing.”

Hawthorne was guiding a photography tour in the location when he snapped the extraordinary shot.

He said there were no cubs nearby at the time.

A wildlife photographer since 2015, Hawthorne said it was a common misconception that bears were out to kill you.

About 11 bear attacks happen in North America each year. Picture: iStock

About 11 bear attacks happen in North America each year. Picture: iStockSource:istock

“The fishermen did have a good startle when they realised their spectator, but it was clear he was not threatening so they quickly returned to fishing,” he said.

“When given protection such as a habitat like Katmai National Park, and especially when bears are so focused on a single food source like salmon, close and passive encounters can happen daily without risk of attack.

“This is more of a common occurrence than you think. The bears walk up and down the banks looking to find sockeye salmon to catch.

“It can happen several times a day that you have a bear walk close behind you. They make their rounds walking up and down the banks only stopping to take a dive after some fish.

“The bear was looking right past the fishermen into the water hoping to see salmon ready for the catching.

“After the bear had a good look around for salmon, he continued his walk downstream.”

About 11 bear attacks happen each year in North America. Nature reports 50 per cent of them take place when people are engaged in leisure activities such as hiking, fishing, picking berries or jogging.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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