Invocation perseverance; prolific Griz 399; errant GPS
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
If there’s a grizzly with star appeal in the Lower 48 states — one with her own social media presence — it’s 24-year-old Grizzly 399, who usually wanders through Grand Teton National Park with her several cubs. A grandmother many times over, she produced another litter — four cubs! — this year. So in late October, when she appeared on highways and dirt roads near Wilson, Wyoming, people stopped their cars, grabbed phones and cameras and just about went nuts. Photographer Maureen Matsen told Gaia GPS’ Out and Back podcast that whenever she sees this happen, she thinks she should “just start filming these photographers because of the joy on their faces.” Wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen, who has been documenting Griz 399’s life for 15 years, says this mother bear is special because she appeals to human emotion. When one of her cubs was killed by a car one summer, Mangelsen says he saw “Griz 399 sobbing on the roadside near the body of her cub, grieving much like a human mother would.” Yet you don’t want to mess with this mama bear: In 2007, a tourist walking near Jackson Lake Lodge blundered into her space and was attacked by Griz 399 and her yearling cubs. “They’re just going to eat me,” Dennis Van Denbos recalled thinking. “There’s nothing I could do. There’s no way I could fight off four grizzlies.” He suffered several bites but was glad that wildlife officials spared the bears. Montana writer Todd Wilkinson says the decision to let Griz 399 live has been important for grizzly recovery in the Yellowstone area. A prolific mother, Griz 399 has produced seven litters, including three sets of triplets, plus this year’s quadruplets: “Now she’s long in the tooth, her fans are wondering how long she’ll live.”
See four more little stories here: https://www.hcn.org/issues/52.12/humor-invocation-perseverance-prolific-griz-399-errant-gps