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World famous grizzly gives birth to new cubs

Date: 16-Jun-20
Author: Liam Taylor

The success of conservation projects in the Yellowstone region has allowed grizzly populations to recover and bears like 399 to thrive. Image: Ronnie Howard/SS

The success of conservation projects in the Yellowstone region has allowed grizzly populations to recover and bears like 399 to thrive. Image: Ronnie Howard/SS

One of the world’s oldest and most well-known grizzly bears in the wild has emerged from the winter months accompanied by four young cubs.

The famed grizzly known as “399” is 24 years old and its life in the greater Yellowstone region has been covered by nature photographer Thomas Mangelsen for over 15 years. In mid-May Mangelsen captured photos of the 160kg sow in Grand Teton national park in Wyoming, accompanied by four young cubs born during the snowy winter.

For her advanced age it’s quite incredible for 399 to still be giving birth to healthy cubs, but that is not the only amazing thing about 399. Born in 1996, the bear is directly responsible for 22 descendants and often raised her cubs in view of groups of humans, doing more to change the perception of the species’ than perhaps any other grizzly.

“Four-cub litters are rare,” said Frank van Manen, a senior research biologist who oversees the Yellowstone region’s Grizzly Bear Study Team told The Guardian.

“We have documented females producing cubs well into their early- to mid- 20s, but a litter of four at that age is definitely unique.”

The population of grizzlies in the Yellowstone region of northwest USA fell below 150 during the 1970s, causing the species to be given protection under the Endanngered Species act in 1975. Following decades of careful conservation measures such as habitat protection and hunting bans, at least 700 bears now inhabit the region.

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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.



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