World Famous Movie Stars - episode 4
It was so difficult for Cinderella to catch her fish! So many unsuccessful chases, jumps, dives and attempts in order to catch just a few salmons during a day. Kambalny river bears' catch wasn't as abundant in 2013 as that of bears from Kurile Lake, Khakatsin and Etamynk spawning rivers, flowing into Kurile lake. And the distance between Kambanly and Kurile lakes isn't that great by Kamchatka measures.
Silver salmon abound in the lake located behind Kambalny volcano, at the
foot of Ilyinsky Volcano and near the river. In August bears were walking
lazily around spawning areas scooping up salmon and eating dozens of
fishes per day without wasting much energy. In spite of all these difficulties,
Cinderella did not give up and continued to "exploit" her river as best as she
could. The Kambalny river is not as fish-rich as Kurilskoe Lake but that was
her fishing place.
The fish that was running upstream to spawn started to moved faster trying
to escape capture but after a while got tired and the water washed it
downstream. Cinderella was watching the fish all the time. When it came
close to the river rapid the bear started chasing fish through the water.
Quickly changing direction of the chase she shortened the distance to one or
two meters and leaped forward.
Weary with the chase the fish approached the river rapid and bumped into
the stones over which the foaming and roaring Kambalny river was flowing.
Hanging on by the skin of teeth, the fish sky-rocketed out of the water
desperately trying to jump over the rocks and get a few floors higher the
river rapid. But the fish was too exhausted to make such a high jump.
Failing to leap over the rocks the fish fell on the stone and with a lash of its
tail tried to get back into the water.
The fish succeeded but Cinderella who was chasing the fish immediately
leaped forward and pinned the fish with its paw right in the water. The fish
was knocked senseless and in a second the female bear grasped the fish
with its mouth.
Being a professional actress the female bear turned its head my way and
paused for a second. Cinderella posed for the camera and I was lucky
enough to capture her posing with her valuable and long hoped-for catch.
That's what distinguishes a professional bear actress from other female
bears. Cinderella posed for the camera.
While no one was trying to steal her catch Cinderella however always
preferred not to eat her fish right on the stones. She defiantly marched to
the nearest thickset dwarf pine to enjoy her meal. See, I caught that fish!
Who is the best? I am the best!
Several weeks of observation of Cinderella's life and shootings at the
Kambalny river flew fast. During this time I got used to the female bear and
it was very sad to leave (I hope the feeling was mutual but I was
embarrassed to ask...). Well, everything good has to end. Back in Moscow I
sometimes looked through her pictures and thought that I would probably
never see her again.
In January 2014 in Moscow I was at the premiere of Land of the Bears held
at Luxor Theater - excited crowds of people, clatter and chatter. At last the
lights went off, and there was silence, and after a while a well-known female
bear appeared on the big screen. I could not believe my eyes - it was
Cinderella. I did not know and I could not imagine that she would be one of
the leading characters in the film shot by director Guillaume Vincent from
France. Looking at her on the big screen was a thrill and I was overwhelmed
with emotion. I wanted to stand up and shout to the whole room: Cinderella!
I could hardly hold in emotion. I was on the verge of tears. Cinderella, you
are so beautiful!
P.S. Cinderella had a boyfriend there - a very distinctive character.