Catching Up with Grizzly 399
Did you wake up this morning and wonder, “Hey, I wonder what Grizzly 399 is up to?” Maybe you’re the sort of person who only follows human social media influencers, occasionally making exceptions for raccoons who do tricks or cute British puppies. But if you’re into bears, you may have read our post a few years ago about Grizzly 399, a famous mama bear who roams the Grand Teton area. She’s poised to make history this year. We’ll tell you why.
But first, here’s a recap for those who have bear-ly heard of her. (We’re terribly sorry about that line.) At age 27, this glamorous sow is already a legend in her own right. For starters, she’s still alive. Only 9% of first-year female cubs survive to reach age 27, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. 399 is also still sporting all her teeth, a rare trend for female grizzlies her age (props to her dentist).
Basically, 399 is the closest thing to a Hollywood celebrity ever produced by our particular slice of the animal kingdom. If animals wrote tabloids, she would be on the front page, those pearly ursine whites gleaming. We can imagine some of the questions posed by headlines now:
Who’s she dating? (A photographer spotted her breeding with a male named Bruno last year.)
Wait, are she and Bruno back together? (He probably fathered her last four cubs. Maybe she likes him.)
Has she put on weight? (Yes, a little, when we last saw her—but we’re body positive here, so that’s none of our business.)
What will she be wearing? (Fur. Sorry, PETA.)
And the biggest question of all: is she having babies this year? Here’s the big news at last: If she emerges from hibernation this spring with another litter of cubs, it will be her eighth, making her the oldest monitored grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem to bear a litter of youngsters.
Like any good celebrity, Grizzly 399 has her own paparazzi: scientists, photographers, and social media fans are all eagerly awaiting her arrival. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, stay tuned for more hot animal gossip.*
This post is brought to you by Flat Creek Inn, Jackson’s closest lodgings to Grand Teton National Park. If you’re among 399’s many fans or want to check out all the other wildlife Jackson Hole has to offer, come stay with us soon.
* We can’t promise this. But if one of the elk checks into rehab or something, we’ll definitely let you know.
Ryan Kunz is a copywriter and freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics, including media, the outdoors, and whatever else strikes his fancy. However, he doesn’t usually write about bears.
StevenPDeVries, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons