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Brown Bear by Robert Bateman
If the bald eagle is the symbol for America and the beaver is the
symbol for Canada, I have always thought of the bear as the symbol
for Russia. Actually, the Eurasian brown bear is the same species
as the American grizzly bear. However, this species comes in many
different races or subspecies ranging from almost black to blond.
The Kodiak of Alaska and Kamchatka bears can be up to 1500 lbs. In
Russia these animals may still be found in the Ural Mountains and
throughout the Taiga.
All through history large predators have been considered serious
competitors and threats to humans. Of course, because of our
weapons we have usually won the disputes. Therefore for at least a
century bears have been eliminated from most of their ancient range.
I have always greatly admired and respected these animals with their
handsome sense of power. I have seen them many times in the wilds
of North America. In Alaska, I experienced a mock attack by a
"spoiled" bear at Salmon River.
In this painting, I made the animal almost bigger than the canvas,
bringing it too close for comfort. The bear seems to be walking out
of the mist of a salmon river and turns to notice the viewer at the
last moment. It will either attack or pass on by. That lingers as
"The walrus is one of
the biggest North American mammals, weighing over a thousand pounds
– more than a moose! We were able to approach this resting herd on
one of the islands of Svalbard in the European Arctic. The scenery
there is a bonus to the spectacular wildlife".