The World’s Most Famous Grizzly Just Emerged With a Massive Surprise

Grizzly Bear
© through-my-lens from Getty Images and SimpleFoto/ via Canva.com

Written by Nina Phillips

Published: May 15, 2024

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The world’s most famous grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), known as Grizzly 399, emerged from her hibernation not too long ago. However, she didn’t emerge from her den alone and brought an impressive surprise with her. Keep reading to find out more about Grizzly 399 and the surprise she shared with the world.

Who is Grizzly 399

Grizzly 399 is a grizzly bear who lives in Wyoming. She’s a female grizzly born in the winter of 1996. It’s estimated she weighs about 400 pounds and she’s had 18 cubs since 2004, though only eight or so have reached adulthood.

Since 2007, Grizzly 399 has been a major fixture in one of Wyoming’s national parks. She often shows herself to the public as she raises her cubs and moves around the park. There was even a documentary made of her called Grizzly 399: Queen of the Tetons by PBS.

Grizzly 399’s Massive Surprise

@grandtetonphoto

Spent most of the day unsuccessfully looking for bears only to stumble upon the most famous grizzly bear in the world, grizzly bear 399. On the same day that her special airs on PBS check it out it’s called Nature. What a great experience, she was too close to get any photos so I just took a cell phone video. Kind of upset with this UPS driver! what was he thinking? ggrizzlybear3399ggrandtetonnationalparkggrizzlybear399jjacksonholeggrandtetonb#bear399

♬ original sound – Jeff Bernhard

Around April 21, 2024, she emerged yet again from hibernation. This is a little late for many bears, who start appearing in March or early April. For Grizzly 399, though, this is about the normal time. In 2023, she didn’t emerge until May 16th.

Still, this year and the last, Grizzly 399 emerged from her den happy and healthy despite her age.

It’s normal for her to emerge with a cub or two. However, this time, she was found with something a little special. Her newest cub, nicknamed Spirit, left hibernation with her but was much larger than expected.

It’s thought that his large size could be attributed to the fact that it had no competition for milk. Grizzly 399’s last round of offspring included four cubs, all of which made it to adulthood. Spirit, having his mom all to himself, likely managed to absorb quite a bit of nutrients and get to a much bigger size than normal.

Where is Grizzly 399?

Grizzly 399 is often found in and around Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. She’s also known as “The Queen of the Tetons” and has been famous since about 2007 and is one of the most famous grizzlies in the world. People have photographed her hundreds of times and many travel to the park just to see her.

Why Grizzly 399 Is Special

@wattswildlifephoto

Famous Grizzly 399, the Queen of the Tetons, has emerged with a new cub and has defeated the odds once again!! #wildlife #grizzlybear #grizzly399 #399 #tetons #grandtetons #wildlifephotography #photography

♬ original sound – ac

One of the reasons Grizzly 399 is so special is due to her age. As of 2024, she is 28 years old. This is a pretty old age for a grizzly bear, though not unheard of. However, it is unheard of for a female grizzly that age to still be producing cubs. She’s one of the oldest bears on record still producing offspring.

However, that’s not why she’s famous to the general public. Grizzly 399 has grown up with humans surrounding her and doesn’t avoid them as many grizzlies do. This gives people who visit Grand Teton National Park the chance to see the daily life of a grizzly bear more than they normally would. This gives people the chance to connect with her and see more of a bear’s life than they otherwise would. She has her own Instagram as well, so people can share sightings of Grizzly 399.

Where Do Grizzly Bears Live?

A very protective mother grizzly, running at full speed, charges an intruder in her territory.

It’s rare to find a grizzly in the wild in the United States

©Kelp Grizzly Photography/Shutterstock.com

Grizzly bears are found in mountainous northern regions of the world, including in the tundra and mountain forests. Mostly in North America, grizzly bears are found in Alaska and Canada. However, there are a few populations in Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming

How Big Do Grizzly Bears Get?

Grizzly bears are fairly large bears. Most of the time they’re around three to nine feet in length, and they would weigh somewhere between 300 and 700 pounds. In general, female grizzlies weigh 10 percent less than males.


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About the Author

Nina is a writer at A-Z Animals, FIDIS Travel, and Giant Freakin Robot. Her focus is on wildlife, national parks, and the environment. She has been writing about animals for over three years. Nina holds a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology, which she uses when talking about animals and their natural habitats. In her free time, Nina also enjoys working on writing her novels and short stories. As a resident of Colorado, Nina enjoys getting out in nature, traveling, and watching snow hit the mountains from her enclosed porch.

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