Photo Credit: EnjoyYourParks.com
Although the bear named “747” received top honors this year as the fattest bear of Alaska’s Katmai National Park, Yellowstone’s favorite grizzly bear “399” is probably the most talked-about bear of 2020.
Second-place honors might go to the grizzly who was minding its own business in an abandoned shed before a Montana man sneaked up on it (the man lost).
As for the bronze medal, we might go with the grizzly bear who — again was minding its own business — before a trailrunner (who wasn’t paying attention to the trail) literally ran into the bear and bounced off it.
And coming in in fourth (no medals sadly but in this age of participation trophies, we’ll send it a certificate), would be the bear who was minding its own business when a couple with a baby (seriously) was on the same trail as the grizzly and decided to do the exact wrong thing and run away from it. (Thankfully the bear probably rolled its eyes and just let them move on).
Regardless, and finally back to the topic, 399 is the 24-year-old grizzly who is always seen with her latest round of cubs — all four of them.
She’s been the topic of countless stories this year including an article from The Guardian which proclaimed “She Still Lives” when she emerged from hibernation, still standing with her cubs in tow.
As 399 and her now-much-larger cubs get ready for hibernation, we noticed that one of the little guys (we’re gender neutral here — we don’t know the sex of the cub so we’ll just call it a ‘him’) wasn’t faring as well as his siblings.
The site EnjoyYourParks (which is one of our all-time favorites) explained that the smallest of the cubs has a limp and that’s why you might see him behind the pack.
“Normally this cutie is right next to its mom but on this particular day it was having trouble keeping up with the rest of its family,” the site explained.
“We noticed this limp about a week ago and it has not worsened or improved throughout this time,” it said.
But don’t get too alarmed. The cub is apparently keeping up much better now and is now digging with both front legs.
In the past, the site explained the cub would just watch its siblings dig.
“This may be an indication the cub’s leg or paw is healing,” it said.
Or it could be an indication that the cub is really quite smart and having its siblings do all the work while he’s kicking back.
Either way, the site pledged to monitor the situation and provide updates when necessary. Keep up with its progress here.
By the way, it will probably be a while until the bears get ready for sleepy time. Late November is the time most bears get ready for winter hibernation but that is dependent on snowfall, temperature, and food supply.
We’ll keep you posted.