Year First Identified: 2001 as 3.5 year-old subadult
Known Litters of Cubs: 7, including 2 litters of 4 spring cubs!!!
Genetics Study Samples Obtained: 402 was successfully sampled in 2005 and 2006 when both hair (via hair snare) and tissue (via darting) samples were obtained by former wildlife biologist Tamara Olson. 402 was successfully darted by Ranger Michael Saxton in 2016.
A large female, 402 has a short, dark blonde or brown coat of fur. Her face is crescent shaped with a straight profile and her ears are oval or slightly triiangualr in shape and erect. In July, she often has long fur under her muzzle that resembles a goatee. During the fall months, her fur is brown and grizzled.
402 is often seen at Brooks Falls in July whre she fishes the lip of the falls and will sometimes dive for salmon in the jacuzzi. She is among the few females who will fish at Brooks Falls with spring cubs. In the fall, she often fishes the lower Brooks River and in the lake.
Late 1990's: Dependent Offspring
402 first came to the Brooks River with her mother, 209 Beauty, in the late 1990's and has returned to the river every year since.
2001: 3.5 Year-Old Subadult, 1st Year Identified
402 was first identified as an independent subadult at the age of 3.5 years-old in 2001.
2002: 4.5 Year-Old Subadult
2003: 5.5 Year-Old Single Adult Female
402 mated with 24 BB (aka Bald Butt). DNA confirmation has been obtained that 24 BB (aka Bald Butt) is also 402's father.
2004: Adult Female with 2 Spring Cubs, 1st Known Litter, 858 Artie & 859 Stella
402 returned to Brooks River with 2 spring cubs , 1 male and 1 female, her 1st known litter. These offspring were identified and classified as indenpendent subadults in 2006. The male was 858 Artie and the female was 859 Stella. DNA confirmed that 24 BB is the father of 858 Artie and 859. 24 BB is also 402's father, making 24 BB also the grandfather of 858 Artie & 859. 858 Artie was recorded using the Brooks River 2006-2010. 859 Stella was recorded during 2006 only.
Please request Cog's permission prior to using his photographs!
2005: Adult Female with 2 Yearlings, 858 Artie & 859 Stella
402 returned to the Brooks River with her two yearings from her 2004 litter.
402 and her two yearlings (858 Artie and 859 Stella) can be seen fishing the lip of Brooks Falls in this video by Safari-Nordique R et M-C BUGAULT:
In 2007, 402 arrived at Brooks River with a single spring cub, but soon lost it.
If females lose their cubs early in the year as 402 did in 2007, they may mate and produce cubs the next summer. This happend to 402, in 2008 she returned to Brooks River with three spring cubs.
2008.07.26-07.29: Park visitor Jim Chagares photographed 402 and her 3 spring cubs between 7/26-7/29/2008, photo #'s 102-117, 169-180 and 191-199. Mike Fitz confirmed the identification from photos on a now inactive Flickr site . They can now be seen on Jim Chagare's website .
402 returned to Brooks River with three yearlings from her 2008 litter.
2009.06.26: Park visitor, foreseit, captured 402 and her 3 yearlings in this video :
Please request Michael's / M. B Crawley Photography's permission prior to using his photograph!
2009.06.29: Park visitor, foreseit, captured 402 and her 3 yearlings at 2:25 into this video :
(Note 708 Amelia with 284 "Electra" and 435 Holly and her spring cub can also be seen in this video)
July 2009:July 2009 video of 402 nursing her yearlings by Peter Thiemann:
2009.07.19: Ranger Jeanne's photo of 402's yearlings. 2009.07.25: Park visitor, ConstantineD, captured these photos of the 402 family group: Photo #1 402 with her 3 yearlings and Photo #2 402's 3 yearlings.
2009.08.07: Park visitor, Peter Thiemann, captured this video of 402 nursing her 3 yearlings. (Note the video is on Peter's flickr which is not able to be linked to play on 402's wiki page)
July 2010:2010.07.08: 402 mated with 218 Ugly and 856 on the evening of July 8, 2010. Brooks Camp's July 9, 2010 tweet .:
Park visitor Dan Leffel captured some fantastic Summer 2011 images of 402 with her 3 spring cubs beginning at approximately 8:24 into this video :
2011.07.12: Park visitor Mark Nicholas captured this video during his trip to Brooks Camp. 402 and her 3 spring cubs can be seen in the very beginning of this video:
Sometime after Mark Nicholas' video above, in July 2011, after a prolonged confrontation with 856, 402 and her smallest cub became separated. During this time, the cub was completely defenseless. 856 later returned to the falls and killed the cub. (The video below does not show 856 killing the cub.)
402 was included in the 2012 Bears of Brooks Camp iBook:
402 and her three spring cubs (503 Cubadult is believed to be one of them) can be seen in this video by Kara Stenberg. 409 Beadnose and her 3 yearlings (500 Indy and 717 are believed to be two of them) are the 1st sow and cubs seen in the video. Footage of 402 and her 3 spring cubs (503 Cubadult) begins at 1:39 and continues at 2:18. 89 Backpack and 32 Chunk can be seen beginning at 3:08.
402 and her 3 spring cubs can be seen near the falls in this 2013 season video by Matt Hirt. Matt Hirt shared this information about his video .:
"Hi SnowCrane, glad you were enjoying it...what an amazing place! I'm fortunate to have visited twice and the footage here is a combination of both years. The first half was shot in 2010 and shows (I believe) bear 608 (with 2 small spring cubs) and 438 Flo (on sand spit with two very large cubs). The second half (change of music) was shot in 2013 and you are absolutely correct, that is 402 with her 3 spring cubs. As you probably know, 2 of these little guys didn't return from hibernation in 2014 and the remaining one (503) became a "bear celebrity" of sorts after 402 abandoned him as a yearling and he was later adopted by 435 Holly."
July 2013:2013.07.16 Approximately 18:40:
Two of 402's spring cubs wash over Brooks Falls video by MsDebbiB. Adult female, 813 Nostril Bear is the bear below the falls that 402 has the interaction with:Explore also provided this highlight video of the event: Wild Nature Videos provided this footage :
402 and her 3 spring cubs after the 2 cubs wash over the falls. Video by Gusty Stambaugh:
On July 17, 2013 Ranger Mike Fitz was able to watch the video footage of 402's spring cubs going over the falls and shared the following comment :
"I just got a chance to watch the video of 402’s cubs getting swept over the falls. These cams really give great insight into the dramas of nature.
402 will regularly fish the lip of the falls, even when she is caring for cubs. She is unconsciously weighing the risks of fishing at Brooks Falls versus the reward of food. There may be many other places along Brooks River to fish, but at this time of year none are typically as rewarding as Brooks Falls.
As many of you know, cubs do face many risks in their young lives. In the video, the cubs are swept over the falls as they attempt to follow their mother into the river. Spring cubs (also called cubs of the year) cannot swim nearly as well as an adult bear. The current was too strong for them and they were swept over.
One bear standing below the falls noticeably reacts to the cubs in the water. Just before the cubs were swept over, the bear was facing away from them. It appears that the other bear reacted to the objects washing over the falls. Bears are adapted to take advantage of situations where food is provided to them. If, for example, a beaver had washed over the falls then the bear might also have attacked it.
All of the bears at the falls were once small cubs like 402’s current litter and they all faced the same risks. 402’s protectiveness may have saved one or more of her offspring last night. When you are watching nature’s drama unfold at the falls, be prepared to witness some harsh realities."
2013.07.23: 402 with her 3 spring cubs video by Live Video & Webcams of the World:
2013.07.26 - 2013.07.27: Footage of 402 and her 3 spring cubs begins at approximately the 0:12 mark into this video by Alaska. 503 Cubadult is one of these offspring.:
Juergen created this gif of 402 and her spring cubs.
2013.10.31: 402 with her two remaining spring cubs video by Linda Jett:
2013.11.03: Possibly 402 with her two remaining spring cubs video by Linda Jett:
402 was included in the 2014 Bears of Brooks River book on page 35:
In June 2014, 402 returned to Brooks River with one cb remaining from her 2013 litter.
402 and yearling (now known as 503 Cubadult) gifs by Juergen:
2014.06.26: 402 returning to Brooks Camp with one remaining yearling prompted Michael Fitz, Visual Information Specialist in Katmai, to elaborate on the dangers cubs face: “Cubs in Katmai have a high mortality rate, especially in their first year. As many as 2/3 of cubs may not survive their first summer. As you can imagine, cubs face many risks in their young lives and while we do not know how #402 lost two of her three cubs it could be any number of natural risks: drowning, falling out of trees, undernourishment, getting lost or other bears. These are just some of the risks these young bears face.”
2014.06.27 - 2014.06.29: Ranger Jeanne observed 402 with her remaining male yearling at Brooks Camp. Ranger Jeanne has the following photos of 503 when he was 402's dependent yearling on her flicker: 402's dependent yearling 06/29/2014 and 402's dependent yearlings 06/29/2014
2014.06.29: 402 NPS photo from Katmai Terrane Blog: Previously On Bearcam published June 23, 2015:
July 2014:2014.07.??: 402 and her remaining yearling (now known as 503 Cubadult), still bonded as a family group, can be seen in this video by 117jmg from the 3:27 - 3:45 and 4:31 - 4:50 marks:
402's remaining cub from her 2013 litter, now a yearling, was separated from 402 for extended periods of time and was eventually abandoned wthile 856 courted and mated with 402 in July 2014.
2014.07.01:"July 1, 2014 was a stressful day for rangers and one yearling cub at Brooks Camp. Around 10 AM bear #402 became separated from her cub near the mouth of the Brooks River. The yearling walked and ran to Brooks Lodge and climbed a tree just outside of the lodge. The cub was not reunited with its mother until 8:15 PM.
Several rangers and I had the fortune (or misfortune after several hours) of watching the cub in the tree. The cub was so close to the buildings at Brooks Lodge that people could not use the lodge bathhouse or access several cabins. The cub was less than 50 yards from the back door of the lodge kitchen and dining hall.
What happened? Where was the cub’s mother? Bear 402 and her yearling cub were at the mouth of the Brooks River fishing around 10 AM. The yearling cub swam across the river as 402 fished downstream. 402 lost track of the cub and did not know where it was. The cub didn’t seem to know where its mother was either. 402 began searching for the cub on the opposite side of the river. Shortly after the family was separated, 402 disappeared into the forest at the mouth of the Brooks River. By this time, the yearling cub had wandering to Brooks Lodge and climbed a tree. With 402 nowhere in sight and her cub treed in camp, rangers were in a bit of jam.
Contrary to popular belief brown bears can climb trees. I have seen cubs and adult bears do it. Brown bears are not likely to climb trees when threatened, but they can and sometimes do. When a bear climbs a tree, it won’t climb down until it no longer feels threatened. With a few hundred people moving by Brooks Lodge, the cub was likely not coming down anytime soon.
Bears have climbed trees at Brooks Lodge before, but those situations are usually short in duration. Typically, rangers have to keep people away from the bear and it will climb down and depart in short order. Having a lone cub treed in camp with no mother to be found was unprecedented. Our initial hope was that 402 would catch the cub’s scent and track it into camp. Mother bears will call their cubs down out of trees with a huff. This time, 402 was missing in action.
The cub was very high in the tree. We knew it was stressed. There is no way to get it out of the tree. It had to come down on its own. However, people still want to walk around the lodge and they still want to eat lunch. Brooks Lodge staff still has to meet airplanes on the beach only 100 yards (91 m) away and move luggage to the lodge with a vehicle less than 50 yards (46 m) from the treed cub. Unfortunately, it was not feasible to shut the camp down for the cub. All the noise and people likely kept the cub in the tree—for hours.
Around 5:30 PM, the cub decided to climb down the tree. Rangers instructed people to enter buildings, stay out of the cub’s line of sight, and give it space to go on it’s way. Any noise could startle the cub and cause it climb to the tree again. Spreading that message is hard though. As the cub got to the base of the tree, a plane started its engine and spooked the cub. It climbed back up the tree and stayed there. Remember, the cub climbed the tree around 10 AM.
Around 6 PM, the cub climbed down the tree again. This time it was not startled by people or engines and left the lodge area on it’s own. Its mother was still nowhere to be found. The cub walked along the beach away from the lodge and toward the campground. Perhaps uncomfortable without its mother, it soon returned to the lodge and climbed a tree.
I felt sympathy for the cub, but I was frustrated by the situation.There was essentially nothing we could do to coax the cub down and away from the buildings. This was clearly a place where it felt some comfort and safety. Otherwise it would not have returned. We couldn’t do anything more than watch and wait.Finally around 8 PM, the cub came out of the tree. 402 whereabouts were still unknown. Several rangers worked hard to keep people inside of buildings. No planes were on the beach and the cub had free reign. Still, it was alone. It wanted its mother. It tried to return to the lodge, but eventually left that area and walked back to the river.
Shortly after it reached the river it began to bawl. Cubs bawl when they are hungry or otherwise trying to get mother’s attention. This was something it rarely did in the tree. The bawling clearly got the attention of one bear that swam across the river towards it. When I heard that another bear was approaching the cub, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The other bear could ignore it, kill it, or scare it back to the lodge.
To my amazement, the bear that was approaching the cub was 402, his mother. She must have been near the mouth of the river and heard the cub’s bawling. After 10 hours of separation, they were finally back together. The family was last seen moving upriver into the forest.This was a happy ending for the family, but it highlights the challenges of managing people and bears at Brooks Camp. The facilities at Brooks Camp—lodge, employee housing, and visitor center—are located in perfect bear habitat. It is difficult to reconcile the different needs of people and bears. The situation may have resolved itself sooner if we were not around. At minimum, the bear would have been able to move freely without our interference.
But, Brooks Camp is a place for people too. A cub in a tree near the lodge is not a simple matter to deal with and the camp can’t shut down for the sake of the cub. When you watch the bearcams or visit Katmai, think about our relationship with the animals as well as how a park should be used and managed. Parks are for people and well as wildlife and ecosystems. For generations, people have been debating how to balance the needs of people and animals. In a place like Brooks Camp, the needs of people and wildlife are bared for all to see. How do you provide for the needs of people at a place like Brooks Camp and give bears the space they need to survive?"
19:55: Watch 402 and her yearling cub being reuntied on the bank of Brooks River in this Explore Documentary Film :
2014.07.02: Katmai Terrane blog:: The Challenges of Managing Bears and People at Brooks Camp by Ranger Mike Fitz .
402 was included in the 2015 Bears of Brooks River book on page 37:
Park visitor Ross Baldwin captured this video of 132 and her 3 yearling and 402 and her 4 spring cubs. Vocalizations abound in this video; be sure to have your sound turned up for this one! 132 can be seen and heard jaw popping and huffing for her two wayward yearlings after her interaction with 402.
402 and her 4 spring cubs video by Ross Baldwin:
402 and her cubs can also be seen in this video by Ross Baldwin:
2015.??.??: 402 and her 4 spring cubs can be seen at the 1:48 mark into this video by Donna Archer:
July 2015:2015.07.08: 402 with 3 of her 4 spring cubs NPS photo by Ranger Roy Wood from Katmai Terrane blog: 402 Returns with Four Cubs by Ranger Michael Fitz July 9, 2015. 402 is looking back toward her fourth cub which is still in the grass.:
2015.07.09: Katmai Terrane blog: 402 Returns with Four Cubs by Ranger Michael Fitz. NPS photo of 402 with 4 spring cubs by T. Hostetter.:
2015.07.14: KNP&P volunteer and cam viewer Rockatte captured this video of 402's four spring cubs, one of the cubs is vocalizing:2015.07.16: Park visitor and cam viewer, Carla Farris captured these photos of 402 with her 4 spring cubs during her trip to Brooks Camp: Photo #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9 , #10 , #11 , #12 , #13 , #14 , #15 , #16 , #17 , & #18 . Carla also captured this photo of two of 402's spring cubs .
2015.07.28: Anna-Marie, KNP&P volunteer, park visitor, cam viewer, and cam op captured these photos of 402 with her 4 spring cubs. Please request Anna-Marie's permission prior to using her photos!
402 was observed on the Explore live cam nursing her spring cubs:
Cam viewer, Larinor captured part of these precious moments in this snapshot :
402 is included in the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book on page 44:
2016.06.14: On June 14, 2016 402 was observed with 3 remaining yearlings from her 2015 litter of 4 spring cubs. 2016.06.16 17:57: 402 with her 3 remaining yearlings in this video by Mickey Williams:
2016.06.17: Park visitor, Ned Awty captured photographs of 402 and her 3 remaining yearlings: 402's 3 remaining yearlings , 402 with her 3 remaining yearlings, 402 with her 3 remaining yearlings, 402 with her 3 remaining yearlings , 402 with her 3 remaining yearlings , 402 , 402 with her 3 remaining yearlings , 402 with 1 of 3 remaining yearlings , and 402 with 3 remaining yearlings .
2016.06.19: On June 19, 2016 402 was observed with 2 remaining yearlings from her 2015 litter of 4 spring cubs. 402 lost the largest one of her 3 remaining yearlings sometime between June 17. 2016 and June 19, 2016.
402 goes over the falls but mananges to hold on to the fish. You can see the cubs on the edge of the fish ladder and 719 looking very thin lurking below and watching 402. Video by Melissa Freels:
402 and 2 yearlings video by Rob Rager:
2016.07.06: Park visitor and cam viewer, Bryan Link (aka PhotoBearsBry), captured this video of 402 with her yearlings (811 & 812) from the Brooks Falls wildlife viewing platform during his trip to Brooks Camp.
PhotoBearsBry (aka Bryan) also has this video on youTube of 402 with her two yearlings (811 & 812). This is from July 6, 2016 not July 6, 2017 as it states in the information on youTube.:
2016.07.10: 402's cub washes over the falls video by Erum Chad:
September 2016:2016.09.13: 402 and cubs, 719 (435's biological independent offspring) dispute with 435 Holly video by Lyn Gulbransen.
Cam viewer kcanada shared these thoughts about Lyn's video:
"Yet another 2016 interaction involving 402 and 719 but this time featuring Holly. There was much discussion about how to interpret what transpired.
At the start of the video, 402 and her yearlings are out on the spit, along with 719. Holly (who was known to charge Backpack after he was emancipated if they came into too close contact) spots 719 on the spit, and comes out of the water heading towards 719. In doing this she gets between 402s cubs and 402. 402 charges forward and pushes 719 back. 402 then briefly confronts 435 who backs down. 402 turns away, and then Holly charges 719. 402 then confronts 435 again. Holly retreats to the water but doesn't leave; she continues to watch intently.
Things seem to calm for a moment until around 3:15, 402 then charges 719 who retreats. At that point Holly comes out of the water which draws 402 back away from 719.":
402 and two yearlings standoff with 273 and yearling video by Melissa Freels:
2016.09.27: 402 with her cubs and 719 (435's biological independent 2014 offspring) video by Brenda D:
2016.10.16: 402 with her cubs, 719 (435's biological independent 2014 offspring), and 708 Amelia with her cubs video by Flyer 7474. Kcanada describes her observations of this video "The 708s and the 402s with 719 in tow meet by the Falls. Turn up the volume for the offscreen roaring between 708 and 402. You can see the differing mothering styles between 708 and 402. 708 is offering regular reassurance to her cubs once the shouting is over. 402 seeming to have made her point carries on with looking for fish seemingly unconcerned that Amelia might pose any threat to her cubs. Of course, 402 is twice the size of 708, so that's not nothing.":
2016.10.23: 719 shaowing 402 and her 2 yearlings in this part 2 video by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA). This is part 2 from Oct 23 2016. There is a scary moment towards the end between 402 and 719. 719 did seem to come out of it ok. :
402 was included in the 2017 Bears of Brooks River book on page 49.
402 is listed on the unofficial July 2017 Bears Observed During Official Bear Monitoring Sessions List . 2017.07.04: 402 fishing the lip and 503 fishing in the jacuzzi snapshots by GreenRiver :2017.07.06: 402
2017.07.17: 32 greets 402 and 856 video by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA):
2017.07.21: 402 fishing the lip of the falls, she catches a fish, then slips off the falls into the jacuzzi where 32 Chunk is fishing. 402 comes up from the fall with the fish. 32 Chunk steals the fish from 402. 402 dives in the jacuzzi and comes up with another fish. Video by Linda Jett:
2017.08.05: 402 fishing in close proximity to her 2013 biological offspring, 503 Cubadult video by Brenda D:
402 fishing in the jacuzzi and 503 Cubadult (her only surviving 2013 biological offspring) fishing the lip of Brooks Falls video by Brenda D:
2017.09.23: 402 really packed on the pounds as a single female in 2017 and seemed like a guaranteed contestant as a contender for the 2017 Fat Bear Week contest. Goldilocks even created a meme in preparation to campaign for 402. Goldilocks was not the only cam viewer that was shocked to learn that 402 was not a contestant in the 2017 Fat Bear Week contest.Rangers later explained that 402 did not cooperate with their efforts to obtain fall 2017 photos of 402 to be used in comparison to early season photos of 402 for her to be included in the 2017 Fat Bear Week Contest.
Stmango also captured this snapshot of 402 on September 23, 2017 that shows a different side (if round has sides) of the pounds 402 packed on in fall of 2017:
402 appears on the unofficial Fall 2017 Bears Observed During Official Bear Monitoring Sessions List .
Cam viewer, JG captured these snapshots of 402 and 402 with her spring cubs during the 2018 season. Cam viewer, Olddude captured this snapshot of 402 with her 4 spring cubs . Cam viewer, CarolineB captured these snapshots of the 402 family group during the 2018 season.:
Cam viewer, JG captured these snapshots of 402's four spring cubs during the 2018 season. Cam viewer, Sunny captured this snapshot of 3 of 402's spring cubs. Sunny also captured this snapshot of 402's four spring cubs. Cam viewer, Olddude captured this snapshot of 402's four spring cubs. Olddude also captured this snapshot of 402's spring cubs. Cam viewer, dkdogs captured this snapshot of 402's spring cubs.:
Photographer and park visitor, Valerie Van Griethuysen captured many photos of 402 and her 4 spring cubs during her 2018 trip to Brooks Camp. Many of Valarie's photos and some stories have been shared in many ways.:
Natural Habitat Adventures & WWF article: Traveler's Story: Finding a Personal Connection With the Brown Bears of Brooks Falls has a few photos of 402 and her 4 spring cubs.
Natural Habitat Adventures & WWF Wildlife Photo of the Day on Janaury 5, 2019: Mama Brown Bear has a photo of 402 with her 4 spring cubs.
dailywildlifephotos January 6, 2019 Instagram post has a photo of 402 with her 4 spring cubs by Valarie.
Natural Habitat Adventures & WWF Wildlife Photo of the Day on February 21, 2019: Phew, Safe on Mom has a photo of 402 with one of her spring cubs on her back.
2018.0?.??: Laura Lyn Photography shared this summer 2018 video of 402's four spring cubs on the wall of the fish ladder in their May 5, 2019 Facebook post.
2018.07.13 14:55: On July 13, 2018 at approximately 14:55 , 402 was observed wtih 4 spring cubs. Ranger Russ commented at 13:14 to share the BREAKING NEWS! At 15:39 Ranger Russ posted a photo of 402 with her 4 spring cubs taken by volunteer Maurice Whalen (per Ranger Russ at 15:43). At 15:47 Ranger Russ posted a second photo of the family group.KNP&P's July 13, 2018 tweet re: 402 returning to Brooks River with 4 spring cubs. Their tweet included a NPS photo of 402 with her four spring cubs and a NPS photo of 402 with two of the four spring cubs . These photos of 402 and her 4 spring cubs were taken by KNP&P volunteer in park, Maurice Whalen:
2018.07.15: On July 18, 2018 at 09:54 Ranger Andrew (@Katmai Ranger) commented to inform cam viewers that on Sunday, July 15th 402 and one of her spring cubs was separated. The two were later reunited and the family was back to a full litter of four.
2018.07.16 or PRIOR: Video of 402 with 4 spring cubs moving through Brooks Camp video by craig_kuetella on instagram, posted 2018.07.16. On July 17, 2018 at 09:51 Mike Fitz commented : "The person speaking sounds like one of the Katmai's bear technicians."
2018.07.17 or PRIOR: 402 with 4 spring cubs by Taylor Thomas Albright on instagram, posted 2018.07.17 at approximately 08:30.
On July 18, 2018 at 09:54 Ranger Andrew (@Katmai Ranger) commented to inform cam viewers that on Tuesday, July 17th the family (402 family group) walked by the Ranger Station in Brooks Camp with only two cubs.
One of the employees of Brooks Lodge posted a video from the morning of July 17, 2018 of 402 and her cubs, one of the cubs was lagging far behind per Rockatte's July 19, 2018 07:50 comment :
""One of the lodge employees posted a video from July 17th morning, and one cub was lagging far behind. I'll never forget how Chris Morgan answered my question about cub survival: he said, "It's up to the cub to keep up and fight for survival - the sow will not do it any special favors.""
2018.07.18: On July 18, 2018 at 09:54 Ranger Andrew (@Katmai Ranger) commented to inform cam viewers that on the morning of Wednesday, July 18th 402 was seen again with three of her four spring cubs.On July 18, 2018, Explore.org released their latest blog by Mike Fitz: Four Cubs for 402 Again :
Four Cubs for 402 Again by Mike Fitz
"The sight of spring cubs elicits an air of excitement. Baby animals in general, and spring cubs in particular, represent the promise of the future and their playfulness and curiosity remind us of our own childhood or children. Raising cubs though, isn’t an easy task. Cubs face considerable risk in their young lives and mother bears are challenged to raise and provide for their cubs until they are mature enough to survive on their own.
On July 13 one of Brooks River’s well-known bears, 402, arrived at the river mouth with four spring cubs. 402 is an experienced mother who has had six litters prior to 2018. Her fecundity is partly a result of her age (402 is about twenty years old and had her first litter as 6.5 year-old bear in 2004) and partly the result of a high turnover rate between some of her previous litters. For example, the loss of her entire 2007 litter stimulated her to enter estrous and mate. When she returned in 2008, she was caring for another litter of spring cubs. In 2014, she entered estrous and weaned a yearling cub (now known as 503). She then returned to Brooks River in July 2015 with 4 cubs .
402 can now apply years of experience and skill to help her current cubs reach independence. However, no mother bear at Brooks River is known to have successfully weaned four cubs from a single litter.
Since 2000, mother bears have returned to Brooks River six times with four-cub litters (including 402’s current litter). Most cubs from the pre-2018 litters did not survive. In 2004, 236 Milkshake returned with only two yearlings from her 2003 four-cub litter. In 2006, 216 Marilyn returned with three yearlings from her 2005 four-cub litter, but only two yearlings survived by the end of summer.In 2010, two bears (236 Milkshake and 875) returned to Brooks River with four-cub litters. By 2011, however, both mothers had lost their entire litters. The last four-cub litter seen at Brooks River was also the product of 402. When last seen the fall of 2015, she still had all four cubs, but by the time she returned to Brooks River in 2016 she only had two yearlings. (One of the many subadult bears at Brooks River currently could be her former cub from 2015.)
The risks to cubs are real . Protecting, teaching, and feeding cubs is a difficult task, one that is made even more so for 402 this time by her four-cub litter. Just recently, rangers reported “402…lost a cub, was reunited with it, then seen with two cubs, and most recently, back with three.” No matter this family’s fate, we can marvel at 402’s determination to follow her maternal instincts in an attempt raise another generation of Brooks River’s bears."
Prior to 2018.07.20: Kenneth Kearney's July 20, 2018 17:29 facebook post with a video of 402 nursing her 4 spring cubs:
"Back from Brooks with plenty of photos. Here's a video of a brown bear nursing her four spring cubs. I was happy to see this family reunited after one of the cubs was lost. The panicked cub ran into the campground calling for its mother and spent over a day running around the river and lake looking for her. This was taken shortly after they were reunited.
Several years ago I saw this bear with her previous set of four spring cubs. She's a prolific mother since not many have or bring four cubs to the river. Everyone around camp was glad this lost cub survived one of the many challenges that bears face when growing up.
I'll have more video and many pictures from Brooks/Katmai and my Great Bear Rainforest trip coming soon."
Brenda D captured this video of 402 and her 4 spring cubs:
Kerstin59 captured these shapshots of 402 and her 4 spring cubs:
23:07: 402 and her 4 spring cubs can be seen at approximately 37:40 into this Explore Recorder video. The four spring cubs can be seen riding on 402's back.
LaniH captured this video :
Mark Kaufman (worked at Brooks Camp in 2014 ) at Mashable wrote an article about 402 and her four spring cubs on July 20, 2018.: A bear cam mom showed up at the river with four cubs. How many will survive? Check out his article for lots of information (complete with remarks by Mike Fitz) and photos of 402's 2018 litter.
Bearwatcher, McKate captured this video of 402 and her 4 spring cubs:
2018.09.17: Shel captured this snapshot of 402 and her spring cubs. Shel also captured this snapshot of 402 with her spring cubs. Shel also captured these snapshots of 402 (snapshot #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , & #5 ) and this snapshot of 402 and one of her four spring cubs. Cam viewer, Sunny captured these snapshots (#1 & #2 ) of 402 with her spring cubs.:2018.09.18: 402 with her 4 spring cubs snapshot by Sunny .:
2018.09.21: 402 and her spring cubs video by Birgitt:
2018.09.24: 402 and her 4 spring cubs video by Birgitt:2018.09.25:
402 and her 4 spring cubs in close proximity to 402's offspring from her 2015 and 2013 litters video by Birgitt:
One of 402's cubs is a female video by Birgitt:
Bear watcher, mckate captured this video of 402 diving in the jacuzzi:
2018.09.27: 402's four spring cubs crossing the lower Brooks River video by Birgitt:
October 2018:Sunny captured this snapshot of 402 with her 4 spring cubs.:
2018.10.08:video of 402 and her 4 spring cubs:
2018.10.09: 402's four spring cubs and the dead gull video by Birgitt Evans:
2019: Adult Female with 3 Yearlings
402 returned to the Brooks River with 3 yearlings from her 2018 litter.
2019.06.21: On June 21, 2019 at 13:18 AKDT, Courtney at Explore posted a photo of 402 with 3 yearlings.:
2019.06.29: 402 was observed with her 3 remaining yealrings.
Sometime between June 29, 2019 and early morning June 30, 2019. 402 was separated from one of her 3 remaining yearlings, and was observed with only 2 remaining yearlings.
2019.06.30: 402 was observed with only 2 remaining yearlings when 1st observed on June 30, 2019.
402 with her 2 remaining yearlings in the riffles video by Lani H.:
Later in the day on June 30, 2019, 402 was reunited with her 3rd remaining yearling.
402 with 3 yearlings on the lip video by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA):
Video by Arlene Beech (aka Homebird):
Known Courting & Mating:
2012 or Prior: (Publishes April 2013)
32 Chunk and 402 mating in this video by Josep Mª Puig Bernaus:
Known Litters of Cubs:
1st Known Litter, 2 Spring Cubs: 858 Artie & 859 Stella, DNA Confirmed:
2004: 2 Spring Cubs, 1st Known Litter, 858 Artie (male) & 859 Stella (female)
24 BB is the father of 858 Artie and 859. 24 BB is also 402's father, making 24 BB also the grandfather of 858 Artie & 859. 858 Artie was recorded using the Brooks River 2006-2010. 859 Stella was recorded during 2006 only.
2005: 2 Yearlings, 858 Artie (male) & 859 (female):
2006: 402 was observed on May 27, 2006 with her two 2.5 year old cubs from her 2004 litter, but was then observed without them later in the season.
2nd Known Litter, 1 Spring Cub, Lost by July 8, 2007
2007: 1 Spring Cub, 2nd Known LItter
402 was observed on July 4, 2007 with this spring cub. 402 soon lost this cub as she was observed on July 8, 2007 without the spring cub. 402 went back into estrus soon after the loss of this cub, and was observed being pursued by several male bears, most prominently 218 Ugly.
3rd Known Litter, 3 Spring Cubs
2008: 3 Spring Cubs, 3rd Known Litter
402 having a spring cub / cub-of-the-year in 2007 and then again having spring cubs / cubs-of-the-year in 2008 is something not typically observed in the bears that utilize the Brooks River area. Photos of this litter as both spring cubs and yearlings can also be found on the cubs page (page 49) in the 2014 Bears of Brooks River book. 402 and her 3 cubs can be seen by the platform at Brooks Falls in this July, 2008 video by ebrewer333. Another 2008 video filmed by Mark Emeryshows the family by the Brooks Falls platform (2:36-2:59).
2009: 3 Yearlings
Casey Anderson was at Brooks Camp in July of 2009 to film for National Geographic when he captured this video where 402 with her 3 yearlings and 438 Flo with her two 2.5 year old cubs appear in the beginning of it. (Note: the names used in the National Geographic video are not the official nicknames used by the park). Peter Thiemann recorded this video of 402 nursing her 3 yearlings in July, 2009. Ranger Jeanne observed 402's three yearlings at Brooks Falls on July 19. 2009. On 9/18/09 Wholeworldgonecrazy captured 402 and her 3 yearlings in this video.
4th Known Litter: 3 Spring Cubs:
2011: 3 Spring Cubs, 4th Known Litter
In July of 2011, after a prolonged stand-off, 856 separated 402 from one of her spring cubs. Although not captured on the video, 856 eventually returned and killed that spring cub from this litter. The July 31, 2011 post of the blog: My Adventures in Alaska also documents this story. Curiously, 856 was seen mating with 402 in 2010. Therefore, he could have potentially killed his own offspring. Park visitor oliviayhu filmed 402 and her remaining 2 spring cubs. Ranger Jeanne observed 402 with her 2 remaining spring cubs on September 8, 2011. By September 25, 2011, 402 had lost another spring cub from this litter. 402 and her 3 spring cubs from this litter appear in the beginning of this video by Mark Nicholas from July 12, 2011
2012: Single Female
402 lost her only remaining cub from her 2011 by spring of 2012, and returned to the Brooks River area as a single female in 2012.
5th Known Litter, 3 Spring Cubs:
2013: 3 Spring Cubs, 5th Known LItter, 503 Cubadult is the only surviving offspring from this litter
In July 2013, 402 quickly reacts when two of her cubs wash over the Brooks Falls fish ladder as 402 is attempting to fish the lip of the falls. A 2nd video from Gusty Stambaugh was filmed right after the event and shows the 2 small cubs struggling in the water. A park visitor filmed 402 and her 3 cubs at the falls, on a 7/26-7/27 trip. 402 lost one of these spring cubs in September 2013 when the cub was fatally injured up near Lake Brooks and lost a second cub prior to returning to the Brooks River area in 2014.
2014: 1 Remaining Yearling, 503 Cubadult (male),
2014 Early Season with 402: Yearling 503 Cubadult Emancipated by 402 in July 2014
2014 Season Adopted by 435 Holly: 503 Cubadult Later Adopted by 435 Holly (& her biological spring cub) in 2014
402 returned to the Brooks River area in 2014 with only 1 remaining yearling (06:32 & 10:31 into video) from her 2013 litter. This July, 2014 video by 117jmg shows 402 and her yearling at 3:27-3:45 and 4:31-4:50. 402 was separated from this remaining male yearling on multiple occasions in early to mid July of 2014; July 1, 2014 and July 9, 2014 were two of the days those separations took place. 402 was being courted by 856 even though she was caring for her remaining offspring. On July 21, 2014, 856 and 402 were observed mating. The male yearling was an independent subadult for a short period of time after being separated from 402 for the final time on July 9, 2014, and was officially assigned the number of 503 by Ranger Leslie Skora, the bear monitor. 503 was adopted a short time after by 435 Holly and included in the family group with 435 Holly's 2014 female spring cub. On July 25, 2014 Calliope Jane / Tina Crowe observed and photographed 503 with 435 Holly and 435 Holly's female spring cub at Margot Creek. Rangers were able to later confirm 435 Holly's adoption of 503 when 435 Holly was observed at Brooks Camp nursing 503 along with her biological female spring cub.
6th Known Litter, 4 Spring Cubs:
2015: 4 Spring Cubs, 6th Known LItter
On July 8, 2015 402 returned to the Brooks River area with 4 spring cubs / cubs-of-the-year. This is the second time 402 has returned to the Brooks River area with cubs in the year immediately following a previous year when she was also caring for offspring. The 402 family can be seen in this 2015 Donna Archer video (1:48-2:32). On 10/5/15 402 and her plump quads were filmed by the grassy area and lower river viewing platform, video by Victoria White. One of the larger spring cubs from this litter is a male. 402 is one of four bears known to have a litter of four spring cubs in the Brooks River area in the past ten years. 402 and her quads were also observed at Margot Creek in 2015.
2016: 3 Yearlings, Lost 1, 2 Remaining
402 returned to Brooks River (6/16/2016 video by Mickey Williams) on 6/14/2016 with 3 yearling cubs (photo by Ranger Anela Ramos) but then was soon seen with only 2-photo by Kara Stenberg. One of the yearlings was lost between 6/17/2016 and 6/19/2016. During a chat, Ranger Dave mentioned that prior to seeing 402 with only 2 yearlings, there was some sort of commotion or ruckus at which point a sow and 2 yearlings went running through camp. Ranger Dave expressed that the sow may have been 402, but whether or not this was the event that caused the disappearance of the 3rd cub is unknown. 402 and her yearlings started to be shadowed by 435's biological 2.5 year old female cub after she was emancipated. It was revealed that the emancipated cub was given bear id# 719 in a live chat with Ranger Leslie Skora on 9/26/16. For the most part, 402 tolerated the presence of 719 and at different times was seen both protecting her from a charge and charging her when she thought her own cub's fish was being stolen. 719 could often be seen playing with one of 402's yearlings. She continued to follow 402 and her cubs all summer and into the fall when they were last seen together. 402 frequently fished the lip at Brooks Falls, often with her larger cub joining her. She can be seen with her yearlings in this early season video by Martina. 402 was also seen at the lower river and had 2 healthy yearlings when seen in early fall, both photos by Kara Stenberg. This Kara Stenberg photo shows 402 with her yearlings resting at the lower river with 719 in the background. Mickey William's 9/20/16 video shows 402 and her cubs at Brooks Falls. 719 can be seen following the family at 4:31. 402's smaller cub is believed to be female and the larger cub is male. Note: from the 2017 Bears of Brooks River profile of 719, "Ironically, 402 is the biological mother of 503, 719's adopted sibling. We cannot know how cognizant 719 was of the events surrounding her development, but brown bears are intelligent. 719 appears to have learned from 503's adoption and applied that knowledge to her own situation. She seems to have identified the risks and rewards of approaching an unknown bear and used that knowledge to give herself the best chance at survival." Will 402 emancipate her 2.5 year old cubs in 2017 and will 719 continue to stay with them?
Prior to 2013, 236 Milkshake was the only bear that frequented the Brooks River area previously known to produce five litters of cubs. 402 producing her 5th known litter totaling 12 known offspring between 2004 and 2013, tied her with 236 Milkshake as one of the most fecund bears known to utilize the Brooks River area. In 2015 when 402 produced her 6th known litter of cubs totaling 16 known offspring has now captured the status of the most fecund bear known to frequent the Brooks River area.
2017: Single Female
402 was observed by someone at Brooks Camp on 6/11/2017 with her now two, 2.5 year old cubs. The family can be seen in this Katmai National Park Facebook post, photo by Tammy Carmack. 402 emancipated both her cubs approximately on 6/17/17. She was observed driving her cubs away by KNP staff.
7th Known Litter, 4 Spring Cubs:
2018: 4 Spring Cubs, 7th Known Litter
On July 13, 2018 at approximately 14:55 , 402 was observed wtih 4 spring cubs. Ranger Russ broke the BREAKING NEWS to cam viewers at 15:14 with this comment .
2019: 3 Yearlings
If 402 would have returned to the Brooks River with 4 yearlings in 2019, she will have been the first documented Brooks River sow to successfully raise a litter of 4 cubs into their second summer. However, it appears that 402 has only 3 remaining yearlings from her 2018 litter. On June 21, 2019 at 13:18 AKDT, Courtney at Explore commented and shared a photo of 402 with her 3 yearlings.
Mother: 209 Beauty, DNA Confirmation
Father: 24 BB (aka Bald Butt), DNA Confirmation
Sibling / Littermate: 403 Egberta, DNA Confirmation
2004: 858 Artie (Male) and 859 Stella (Female) , DNA Confirmation
24 BB (402's father) is both father and grandfather to 858 and 859.
2013: 503 Cubadult, Male , Speculated
503 Cubadul t is believed to be 402's remaining male offspring from her 2013 litter of 3 spring cubs.
2015: 811 (female) & 812 (male), Speculated
811 is believed to be 402's remaining female offspring from her 2015 litter of 4 spring cubs.
812 is believed to be 402's remaining male offspring from her 2015 litter of 4 spring cubs.
Genetics Study Samples Obtained:
2005 & 2006: Hair & Tissues Samples by Wildlife Biologist, Tamara Olson
In 2005 and 2006 former KNP&P Wildlife Biologist, Tamara Olson obtained hair and tissue samples from 402.
2016: Successfully Darted by Ranger Michael Saxton
402 was successfully darted by Ranger Michael Saxton in 2016.
2017: No Darting Attempts, Successful or Unsuccessful
There were no darting attempts, successful or unsuccessful, by Ranger Michael Saxton in 2017.
A special thank you to KCanada for the NPS photos from the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook.
NEED TO MOVE THE INFO AND PHOTOS BELOW TO THE APPROPRIATE SECTIONS ABOVE:
ID Marks and Hints
A medium sized adult, #402 has a short, dark blonde coat of fur. Her face is crescent shaped with a straight profile.