Kodiak Bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi)
A very unique subspecies of grizzly living exclusively in the Kodiak Archipelago off Alaska isolated from other bears for at least 12,000 years. They are the largest bears in the world, males stand over 10 feet on their hind legs, about five feet on all fours. Males, called boars, weigh up to 1,500 pounds while females; called sows are about 20% lighter. Twin or triplet cubs are born in January or February with eyes closed, almost hairless and weighing less than a pound. Most stay with their mothers for three years. Boars are their main predators. Sow and cubs leave the den as late as June while boars leave in early April. They are omnivores eating plants, berries, grass and meat. Fish is a main part of their diet. The fish the bear is within is a:
Pacific Halibut: Hippoglossus stenolepis
These fish grow to lengths of eight feet nine inches and can weigh up to 800 pounds. Halibut live close to soft ocean bottoms at depths of 300 – 600 fathoms (one fathom equals six feet). Ranging from the Bering Sea to Rosa Island, California and throughout The Pacific Northwest. They were an important food fish to many of the tribes in this region and are still prized today, commercially and as a sport fish.
The Sockeye Salmon: Oncorhynchus nerka
These Salmon spawn during the summer in small tributaries of lakes where the young spend one to three years before migrating to the ocean. Here they live up to four years. They return to their home streams in maturity (as pictured within this sockeye) to spawn and die. They range from the Bering Strait to Sacramento California, being most abundant in the Pacific Northwest. The abstract totem design in the head is in honor of the indigenous peoples who welcomed the salmon back every year as a food and a spiritual source.