Exploring Explore.org!

     Recently, you may have seen this video on the news, in which a grizzly bear named Grazer quickly gets in the water when her three cubs fall down Brooks Falls in Alaska's Katmai National Park. This video was nice to watch and added a little nature flair to the nightly news, but how many people know that they can view this webcam all the time during the summer months?

What is Explore.org?
     Explore.org is a website that you can watch numerous live webcams of animals and nature ranging from baby service dogs to hippos in Africa. Keep in mind when viewing these cams, that they are in real time. If you're an American night owl, most of the U.S.-based cams will be off or too dark for you to see. Right now, it is about 8:30am central time, so it is still dark on my favorite Katmai National Park cams since they are three hours behind central time right now. No matter the time of day, there will always be cams to watch though. There are nocturnal bird cams, as well as some cams from other places around the world.
     Another thing to keep in mind is that there will not always be animals in the shot right at the time that you are watching. When you go to one of the cams, information is shown including best viewing hours. Just don't be discouraged if there aren't any animals the first time you click on a cam. There are plenty of others to check out. A good way to check out the cams when there are exciting things going on is by liking explore.org on facebook. They frequently will post their live cams when something fun is going on in one of the cams. Explore also has YouTube channels where you can watch the live cams or see highlights from the cams, such as this wolverine scooting through on Dumpling Mountain.

My Favorites!
     My favorite group of cams are the grizzly cams in Katmai National Park. The most watched area is the Brooks Falls cam that Grazer's cubs fell down. This spot is known for years to be a popular grizzly fishing spot when the salmon come up the river. Upon seeing these cams about a year ago, I've done research to see how to visit this spot. It turns out Katmai is not easy to get to and a trip there would generally be very expensive. This cam will be as close as most people will ever get to viewing these grizzlies in person. There is a large online community who watch these bears, which you can get involved in on the comments on the cam. Possibly the coolest thing about the bear cams is that there is a database of bears who are seen on the cams. They all have names or IDs with notable features listed. You can try to identify the bears that you see! Also, park rangers frequent the chats, provide updates, and sometimes give talks or narrate on the cams.
     Unfortunately, the season for this cam will be ending soon, so check them out while you can. If you miss the bears, keep them in mind for next year and check out some other cams!

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