Grizzly cub killed In Grand Teton national park, Hit By Car

According to media reports Tuesday, the sole cub of one of the US’s most beloved grizzly bears was reportedly struck and killed by a car on Sunday evening in Grand Teton national park in Wyoming, prompting mourning among lovers of the mother animal known as 399.

As reported by The Dodo, Yyoming Wildlife Advocates announced the news in a Facebook post: “399’s cub, known as Snowy or Spirit by the bear watchers of Grand Teton, was adored for its antics and notably white face and will be sorely missed.”

Park officials will not have official confirmation that the bear cub hit and killed on Sunday evening was 399’s cub until they conduct DNA testing.

On Sunday night, “Snowy,” Grizzly 399’s single cub born this year, known for his distinctly blonde face, was hit by a car near an area where Grizzly 399 was commonly spotted — Pilgrim Creek. Snowy was simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The circumstances preceding the incidents are unknown as the motorists did not stop or report the incident in either case. Motorists are reminded that any collisions with wildlife must be reported as soon as possible to Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3301.

“399 has been one of the grand dames of grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” says nature photographer Thomas Mangelsen.

“It is heart-wrenching to think that her last cub seems to have been killed in a hit-and-run accident,” says Mangelsen, who featured 399 and extended clan in the recent book Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek. (This author wrote the book’s narrative.)

“The survival of individual grizzlies is tenuous because they face so many threats,” Mangelsen adds. “399 was a smart, attentive mother who knew how to navigate the front country of Grand Teton and taught her cubs to also be savvy. 399 isn’t a menace nor is she tame but is rather highly tolerant of people. Bears like her and her offspring will matter more and more as human population builds.”

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a report from a passerby of an adult grizzly bear removing a cub from the roadway just before 10:00 p.m. Sunday night. Rangers responded to the scene, just south of Colter Bay Junction, and confirmed that an adult grizzly bear had removed a cub from the roadway. Grand Teton wildlife biologists searched the area in the early morning hours on Monday, June 20. The biologists discovered the deceased cub, which weighed between 40 and 50 pounds, approximately 40 yards off the road and removed it from the area. The bear’s carcass will be preserved and used for educational purposes.
A total of 37 animals are known to have been struck by vehicles on park roadways in 2016. One grizzly bear cub, two black bears, nine deer, two bison, nine elk, two coyotes, and one red fox were involved in those collisions, which do not always involve a confirmed mortality. Over 100 large wildlife are known to be hit on park roadways annually, with 118 in 2015 and 115 in 2014.
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“These unfortunate incidents are an important reminder for all of us to slow down and be vigilant when we travel through the park,” said Superintendent David Vela. “Especially with the traffic levels that we are seeing during this busy season, it’s important to obey posted speed limits, maintain a safe following distance behind other vehicles, and be especially watchful around dawn and dusk when wildlife are more active.”

Grizzly cub killed is a reminder to be mindful

In addition to caution and vigilance on park roads, park visitors are reminded not to approach or interfere with park wildlife. The safe viewing distance for bears and wolves is 100 yards, while all other wildlife should be given at least 25 yards of space.

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