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TUNDRA 130 PIC 2014.06.xx NPS 2018 BoBr PG 92 CROP

130 Tundra June 23, 2014 NPS 2018 Bears of Brooks River book page 92

Adult Female ~ Deceased, Remains discovered July 1, 2014

Year First Identified: 2009 as a 2.5 year-old subadult, 2007 year of birth

Year Last Observed: 2014

Known Offspring Of: 409 Beadnose

Known Litters of Cubs: None prior to her death

Genetics Study Samples Obtained: 130 Tundra;s remains were discovered by Ranger Leslie Skora, KNP&P's bear monitor at the time of 130's death. Need to confirm if they were able to get DNA samples from 130's remains.

Identification:

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Distinctive Behaviors:

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Life History:

2007:  Spring Cub with 409 Beadnose & Littermate, Arctic

2007 is believed to be 130 Tundra's year of birth.

2008:  Yearling Cub with 409 Beadnose & Littermate, Arctic

130 Tundra is believed to have been a yearling remaining with 409 Beadnose and Arctic during the 2008 season.

June 2008:

2008.06.28:  130 Tundra with 409 Beadnose; NPS photo from January 22, 2015 Katmai Terrane blog: Bones Don't Lie: Evidence of a Bear's Perserverance Through Trauma by Ranger Michael Fitz:

July 2008:

2008.07.28:  Jim Chagares photographed 130 Tundra on 7/28/2008.  Mike Fitz confirmed the identification from photos on a now inactive Flickr site . They can now be seen on Jim Chagare's website, photo #'s 29 and 30.

August 2008:

2008.08.30:  130 Tundra with her littermate, Arctic, NPS photo from January 22, 2015 Katmai Terrane blog: Bones Don't Lie: Evidence of a Bear's Perserverance Through Trauma by Ranger Michael Fitz:

2009:  2.5 Year-Old Independent Female Subadult

130 Tundra was initially classified as an independent 2.5 year-old subadult in 2009 and assigned her bear monitoring number by KNP&P staff.

2012:

130 Tundra was included in the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook.:

Kara Stenberg (@howlsthunder)  posted this 2012 photo of 130 Tundra on Instagram, 3/12/2020. "Throwback Thursday! In 2012, 5-year old bear 130. “Tundra” on the Brooks Lodge porch in an attempt at avoiding another (off-frame) bear, 708 “Amelia”."

2014:  Single Adult Female, Remains Discovered July 1, 2014

June 2014:

2014.06.17:  Bears commonly walk through Brooks Camp. These two young adults, 89 Backpack and 130 Tundra, spent an hour wandering around camp (keeping rangers busy and people entertained). These photos were taken from inside of the Brooks Camp Visitor Center.

89 Backpack (the bear closest to the photographer) is an 8 year-old male. 130 Tundra is 7 year-old female.

NPS Photos :  #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9 , #10 , #11 , #12 , #13 , #14 , #15 , #16 , #17 & #18 :


2014.06.23:  Ranger Mike Fitz captured this NPS photo of 130 Tundra:

JB Grace captured video of 130 Tundra on the lower river, 6/23/2014.

Bear 130 Tundra on 06-23-14, video by JB Grace

Bear 130 Tundra on 06-23-14, video by JB Grace

2014.06.24:  130 Tundra puts on a show for a crowd of park visitors at the corner video by Various Videos 1:

AK bear 130 Tundra June 24, 2014 by Various Videos 1

AK bear 130 Tundra June 24, 2014 by Various Videos 1

July 2014:

2014.07.01:  130 Tundra's remains were discovered by Ranger Leslie Skora.  Other information about the discovery of 130 Tundra's remains can be found below in the July 8, 2014 Katmai Terrane blog: Death of Bear 130 ..  

2014.07.08:  Katmai Terrane blog: Death of Bear 130 by Ranger Michael Fitz

"July 1 was a busy day at Brooks Camp. Late in the evening, while many rangers were still dealing with 402's yearling cub in a tree at Brooks Lodge , another ranger discovered a dead bear near the cut bank on the Brooks River. The cut bank is located about halfway between Brooks Falls and the lower Brooks River. After looking at the photos of the bear and noticing what appears to be a scar over the bear's left eye, I suspected that the dead bear might be 130 Tundra. Because this bear has not been observed along the Brooks River in the past week, I am now convinced that she is the bear in the photo. A photo of the dead bear is linked below.

Here’s what we know by examining the bear:
1. 130 likely died within 24 hours of being discovered.
2. She had been fed on by another bear.
3. She was likely killed by another bear.

Here’s what we don’t know:
1. Which bear killed 130.
2. The circumstances that led to her death.

Without witnesses, there is no way to determine the events that led to her death. When I last saw 130 Tundra, she appeared to be a healthy bear. I did not notice anything unusual about her behavior or physical appearance.

National parks like Katmai protect not only nature’s wonders, but also its harsh realities. The return of salmon marks the season of plenty for bears, but life along the river is no game for these animals. Each bear you see on the bearcams is competing with others to survive. 130 apparently encountered a competitor that she couldn’t overcome or avoid. 130 was apparently a healthy young adult bear who, I assumed, would grow into a large mature bear. Assumptions can be and often are wrong, but you can never be wrong about the hard lives that bears lead.

Here’s a link to a photo of 130 on the night she was found 

2015:

January 2015:

2015.01.22:  Katmai Terrane blog:  Bones Don't Lie: Evidence of a Bear's Perserverance Through Trauma by Ranger Michael Fitz:

"On July 1, 2014, bear 130 Tundra was found dead near Brooks River.  Since this bear was well known by rangers and the public, her skull was collected and cleaned so it could be used for educational and interpretive programs. As it turns out, Tundra’s skull reveals a biography of trauma she apparently suffered through several years before. Bones don’t lie. They tell the story of pain and healing. As a yearling cub, this bear apparently persevered through potentially traumatic damage to her skull.

Her skull tells the story. Every skeleton, including those of humans, records a "bone biography" .  Bones change size and shape in response to forces placed on them. Stress from repeated use can deteriorate or thicken bones. As fractures heal, bones record a scar of the event. It’s no different for animals. A fracture will be recorded in the bone as it heals. 

In late June 2008, when 130 Tundra was a yearling cub, she sustained an obvious injury to the left side of her head. No one witnessed the cause of the injury, but it did produce a distinctive scar that allowed us to easily identify the bear. However, in 130’s case the fur on her face and head may have hidden a more traumatic injury than a simple, bloody flesh wound.

Even though this bear was obviously injured as a yearling, I don’t recall that her behavior was somehow different or abnormal for a young bear. As an independent bear, she bore a scar from the injury, but was able to fish and play like any other subadult bear. As she matured into adulthood, 130 Tundra did not seem to suffer at all from the injury.

Her skull reveals another side of the story. The left side of her skull is obviously misshapen, and the deformity is exactly where her face was bloodied in 2008. Mammal skulls are bilaterally symmetrical. One side is a mirror image of the other. 130 Tundra’s skull doesn’t hold this pattern though.

Note:  More photos are available here .

Is the deformity a result of a skull fracture that has since healed? I posed this question to Grant Hilderbrand, the regional wildlife biologist for the NPS in Alaska. Grant wasn’t able to examine the skull in person, but remarked that the deformation in the skull could have been caused by a blow to the head. Perhaps her skull was fractured when she was a yearling, and remarkably she persevered through it.

Bears are often injured. 2008 was only my second summer working at Katmai, but even by then I was used to seeing injured bears. It is common to see them with fresh wounds or even broken bones. In many, if not most, cases they are resilient in the wake of severe injuries and get on with the business of survival.

Apparently, her injury as a yearling was more than skin deep. This bear’s bone biography provides a record of significant injury. There is no evidence that suggests this old injury contributed to her death in 2014. Yet one fact is certain: 130 Tundra persevered through any pain or disability caused by the apparent fracture. Long ago, I was convinced that bears are extremely tough and durable animals, but for me this, perhaps final, chapter in 130 Tundra’s story only solidifies that fact."

The additional photos of 130 Tundra's skull:

How 130 Tundra Got Her Nickname:

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Known Courting & Mating:

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Known Litters of Cubs:  None

130 Tundra was not observed with cubs.

Known Relatives:

Mother:  409 Beadnose

130 Tundra is believed to be the 2007 offspring of 409 Beadnose.

Father:  Not Known

130 Tundra's father is not known.

Littermate:   Arctic

130 Tundra had one littermate, Arctic.

Genetics Study Samples Obtained:

130 Tundra;s remains were discovered by Ranger Leslie Skora, KNP&P's bear monitor at the time of 130's death. Need to confirm if they were able to get DNA samples from 130's remains.


A special thank you to KCanada or StMango for the NPS photos from the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook. A special thank you to Xander-Sage for the gif created from the NPS photos in the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook.

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