Poor Brownie. Rest in Peace, sweetie.
This is a picture of Brownie, one of 399’s cubs from Grand Teton National Park. 399 and her daughter, 610, have been capturing hearts for quite a while now. They were known for foraging along roadsides and have become well recognized by the public. Love for the bears grew even more when both females had cubs a little over a year ago, 399 had 3 and 610 had 2. After some time, one of 399’s cubs went to live with grandma, leaving 399 to raise the remaining two, Ash and Brownie. I cannot explain how much people love these bears. There are even bumper stickers that read “I saw 399!” or “I saw 610!” Some just say the bear’s numbers for people like me who haven’t had the honor of seeing the bears yet. Despite many hours in the park looking!
Friday, I was reading the Jackson Hole paper, as I do to keep up to date with the area I hope to live in some day, and my heart broke. A yearling grizzly was crushed by a car when it rolled in an attempt to avoid another car last week. Now, photographer, Thomas Mangelsen, my own personal hero, has gone back to look at old photos and has shared his belief that the cub is Brownie. This means the sibling, Ash, is all alone. Their mother abandoned them back in May when a boar tried to attack the family. The theory is that he wanted to mate with 399, so she chased them off to protect them from the male.
I hope that Ash finds the strength to survive his first year alone. My heart goes out to him. As for Brownie, I wish that this had never happened, but I hope people learn from this and drive more carefully in the parks. Animals can jump out or appear at any moment, and there isn’t any room for speeding or careless driving.
If any of you go to the parks this summer, or anytime for that matter, PLEASE drive carefully. If not for the animals safety, but your own as well.