Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge plays home to one of the densest concentration of black bears on Earth. Sandwiched between the Albemarle Sound to the north, and the Pamlico Sound to the south, this region likely holds more bears that people.
After a long day on the water kayaking through the pocosin swamps that make up much of this national wildlife refuge, I happened upon this large boar. The sun was dropping fast and I had only a few minutes to make something happen. But given the long angle of the light and the long dark shadows that were beginning to stretch across the landscape, I knew immediately I wanted to play shadows off of the golden light in the meadow.
The black bears of this region are the largest in the world, with some weighing in at roughly 1000 lbs. This is significantly larger than any grizzly you will find in places like Yellowstone National Park and rivals the sheer mass of the salmon fed coastal brown bears of Alaska.
Clicking the photo will open a larger, but lower resolution, image.