How are Jackson Hole's grizzly bears doing? Here's the situation on May 4, 2023 ...
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She hasn't been seen yet. Last year, which was the last year she had her four cubs, she came out of hibernation on April 18 and, as her regular territory around Pilgrim Creek was still buried in deep snow, headed straight south to find food.
This spring, there is a lot more snow in the high country, including around Pilgrim Creek.
Grizzly 399 and her quads in 2020: fine art print available here on Etsy (use coupon code "MAMABEAR" for 10% OFF)
Assuming she made it through another winter (fingers crossed, she turned 27 this past winter) and if she doesn't have new cubs of the year ("COY"), it's reasonable to expect that she's awake by now. Without cubs, however, she typically doesn't hang out near the roads as much so she could be out and about in the back country, away from prying eyes.
If she does have new cubs, it's likely she'll be in the den until around the middle of May. Moms with new cubs stay in the den longer to give the cubs a chance to grow bigger before heading out.
Felicia (grizzly 863) and her two 2-year old cubs have been out of hibernation for approximately two weeks now. She immediately headed to lower elevations to find food and even briefly entered Grand Teton National Park!
Felicia's cubs playing in the snow a few years ago: fine art print available here on Etsy (use coupon code "MAMABEAR" for 10% OFF)
She'll kick out her two cubs any time in the next few weeks and rumor has it a big male boar has already been spotted paying extra attention to her, in the hopes of perhaps mating when the time comes.
Blondie (grizzly 793), who just turned 16 years of age, hasn't been seen yet. She is believed to have lost her three newborn cubs last spring. If she doesn't have new cubs this year, she's likely awake by now but, like 399, without cubs to protect, she's unlikely to spend much time near park roads and humans.
Blondie and her three cubs: fine art prints available here on Etsy (use coupon code "MAMABEAR" for 10% OFF)
If she does have new cubs this spring, chances are she won't leave the den until mid May.
Grizzly 610 (aged 17) came out of hibernation in 2022 with three new cubs. She was last seen, with all three cubs in good health, in the fall so chances are good all four will be appearing soon in Grand Teton National Park.
She came out of hibernation on May 5th and seemed groggy and sleepy as she walked around (and even took a nap on the park road!) near her den. All three cubs seemed in good shape!
Grizzly 610 and her 3 COY last spring
Grizzly 1063, aka. "Fritter" or "Bonita," is Blondie's older cub. She appeared out of hibernation about two weeks ago but hasn't been regularly seen (yet) in the National Park, most likely due to the deep snowpack still on the ground forcing her to go look for food in the back country.
Grizzly 926, aka. the "Cunningham bear," is 610's daughter and 399's grand daughter. She came out of hibernation with her two-year old cubs about two weeks ago. She'll be kicking out the cubs in the next few weeks. Since most of the other grizzlies are no-shows so far this spring, she's one of the most frequently seen bears at the moment in Grand Teton National Park.
926 with one of her two cubs
Grizzly 679, aka. Bruno, is the male boar believed to be the dad of most of the above bear's cubs. He is massive. Male boars typically wake up out of hibernation in March and so did Bruno. He has put in the odd appearance in the National Park this spring.
Bruno in full sprint: fine art print available here on Etsy (use coupon code "MAMABEAR" for 10% OFF)
Stay tuned for updates as more bears come out of hibernation ...
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