When we humans eat salmon, our favorite part in which to indulge is the lovely lean flesh. Not so for our ursine and lupine neighbors here in the Nekite River valley! If pickings are slim, then the grizzlies will indeed eat the entire fish. However, if the salmon are abundant, then they can afford to be selective. For a grizzly, being selective means catching only female fish whose abdomens bulge with thousands of nutritious fat-rich eggs. After dining on the roe, the bear will strip the salmon off her fat-and-nutrient-rich skin, leaving the rest to be squabbled over by the birds that have come to the river to feed.
Wolves can be equally particular when flush with salmon, but they strongly select a third energy rich part of the salmon. A sure sign that a wolf has been feeding nearby is many headless salmon. Bears too will sometimes eat this fat-rich region around the brain. It is all about maximizing their daily caloric intake. What a concept!
Check back next month for another interesting bear fact.