VIDEO: Grizzly 399's Cubs Wrestle and Play on Grand Teton Road
September 25, 2020
Grizzly 399 gets more famous every week. And now her cubs are getting in on the act -- a sighting of her four cubs wrestling and playing on a Yellowstone road shut down traffic for some time.
Grizzly 399 is a world-famous grizzly matron. At 24 she is a regal old lady, though she is still bearing cubs. At present she has four cubs, but she is also a grandmother, being the mother of Grizzly 610 as well. In total, she has 16 children and grandchildren.
She is the subject of a children's book featuring photography by Thomas D. Mangelsen, and has her own social media accounts tracking her whereabouts, status and the life of her cubs.
Due to her fame, Grizzly 399 has a target on her back. Because of her age and fame, she is sought after as a trophy by those who would kill her. So far, her staying in a National Park most of the time has spared her from human violence. Some scientists speculate that Grizzly 399, having been habituated to humans, sticks close to roads because she is less likely to run into an ornery boar near civilization; Grizzly boars will often kill the cubs of females they encounter in the backcountry so that they can reimpregnate the mother bear with their own brood.
In 2011, a sighting of Griz 299 and her cubs on a Grand Teton road resulted in backed-up traffic for miles in both directions.
This footage shows a similar event, with cars stopped and tourists descending from their vehicles in the distance as the four cubs frolic in the road. Grizzly 399 herself is nowhere to be seen, although she is probably not too far away, hiding from within the tree line.
The cubs look healthy and well-fed, and their play looks joyous and fun. We're glad to see that the world's most famous grizzly bear mother is still hale and hearty and that her cubs are so happy. Here's to you, 399.
Watch the video below, and leave a comment if you have ever seen Grizzly 399!