Officials Ask Public To Be Cautious As Grizzly 399 And Cubs Head Into Populous Areas

Nov 25, 2020

Grizzly 399 photographed with an earlier trio of cubs.
Credit TOM MANGELSEN

Grizzly 399 is arguably one of the most famous grizzly bears in the U.S. due to the amount of attention she has gotten over the years. This year is no different.

She and her four cubs have been spotted outside of Grand Teton National Park, and Jackson residents started worrying she could be in danger.

Assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior Rob Wallace, is also worried for two reasons.

"One is to make sure that land owners and homeowners in the area secure what they call attractants, which is foreign sources of food," said Wallace. "Whether it's pet food, bird feeders, chicken coops, compost piles, secure them and airproof them so they [the bears] aren't exposed to non natural foods."

The second is to stay at least 300 feet away from her and her cubs. Once the bears are fattened up, they will den for winter.

"They have found a pretty good source of berries that are still on trees down in the Fall Creek area of Teton County," said Wallace. "And there's also some elk and deer carcasses that they've been able to feed on. But as soon as they look around, and that food sources dried up, that's usually the signal they'll take to hibernate."

Wallace said as long as people follow these rules 399 and her cubs should be safe.