Year First Identified: 2007 as a subadult
Known Offspring Of: Not known at this time
Genetics Study Samples Obtained: There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) in 2016 or 2017 by Ranger Michael Saxton for the genetics study.
68 is large bodied with a light brown coat in the summer that shows distinctive scars on his left shoulder and right side of his muzzle. His face sheds out dark, and his ears are widely spaced. In the fall, 68 has light eye rings and sports a dark brown coat with slightly blond tipped ears.
This bear has been seen at Brooks River every year since 2007, though most years he was only observed in the fall. 68 was seen at Brooks River in July 2013 and again in July 2016. In July 2016, he regularly fished at the falls and often ate his catch on the boulder in the far pool.
Bear 68 is an adult male bear who's identity became a source of mystery during the 2015 bear season when a close up video of him in the Lower River section of Brooks River made him an internet star on September 20, 2015. Bear 68 was then dubbed "Rie's Bear" for the rest of the fall season until his true identity as Bear 68 was revealed with the release of the 2016 Bears of Brooks River bear book.
In the 2016 season, his identity again became a source of great mystery as he was initially mis-identified as Bear 274 Overflow. It was subsequently discovered that this bear was indeed a different bear than #274 and he was then dubbed "Not274" until Ranger Leslie Skora, Katmai's current wildlife biologist and at the time, Katmai's bear monitor, confirmed that the bear known as "Not274" and Bear 68 were indeed the same bear.
68 was first identified as a subadult in 2007.
2010.09.04:2010.09.06: 2010.09.08: 2010.09.24:
In September 2011, 68 suffered through a large wound on his lower right leg. At the end of the month, he had trouble moving that leg and appeared to be dragging it. However, he appears to have made a full recovery and has even grown in size. His history is another example of toughness and resiliency ~ a hallmark of brown bears.
68 was observed in July 2013.
68 was observed in Fall 2013.
68 was only observed in Fall 2014.
2014.10.04: 68, though it was unknown at the time, was later discovered to be the "unknown male" play fighting in the "Three-way play flight" album posted by Ranger Jeanne with Bear 83 and 868 in the Lower River on October 4, 2014.
Ranger Jeanne's flickr album of 68 playing with the Wayne Brothers 83 & 868.
On February 21, 2018 (68's "2018 bear-a-day" day on bearcam comments), Mike Fitz popped into the comments and shared the following videos in this comment :
"In 2014, I witness 83, 68, and 868 play-fighting in the lower river, even all of them at the same time. Play-fights are usually one-on-one affairs, so it was unusual to see the three of them playing. My best explanation: They were well fed and the mood was right." (Mike's 1st video link):
"Here's part of the conclusion between 868 and 68." (Mike's 2nd video link):2014.10.20: 868 Wayne Brother and possibly 68 video by JoeBear:
Could this be 68 in this video by Tzz Oha?
Could this be 68 napping in this video by Tzz Oha?:
68 was only observed in Fall 2015:
2015.09.20: 68 is a bear that was relatively unknown to cam viewers until today when he became the ROCK STAR!
68 video by JoeBear:
68 video by Victoria White:
68 video by Explore:On March 28, 2016, Ranger Mike commented providing the identification of the bear observed on September 20, 2015 as bear 68:
"Remember this? (providing the September 20, 2015 Explore highlights video above)
At the time, I didn’t know the ID of the bear or if it even had one, but now I do. He’s #68, an adult male. Here’s a sneak peek at his profile in the next edition of the Bears of Brooks River ebook.
Year First Identified: Subadult in 2007
#68 is large bodied with a dark coat. His fur sometimes has lighter highlights around his face and neck. He also has light-tipped, oval ears and lighter circles around his eyes.
Not much is known about this bear. Although he has been seen at Brooks River every year since 2007, he often goes unnoticed. This bear has been documented on Brooks River in July just once in 2013. Most often he is only seen in the fall.
In September 2011, he suffered through a large wound on his lower right leg. At the end of the month, he had trouble moving that leg and appeared to be dragging. However, he appears to have made a full recovery and has even grown in size. His history is another example of toughness and resiliency—a hallmark of bears."
2015.10.08: Explore Recorder video of 68 close-up:
68 was included in the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book on page 62.
68 in 2016 video of snapshots by GreenRiver:
68 was observed during official bear monitoring session by the KNP&P bear monitor. The July 2016 photos of 68 included in the 2017 Bears of Brooks River book (page 66) have sparked much debate regarding if the bear in the July 2016 NPS photos is in fact 68 or is the bear in those July 2017 really 603 (the original 603 , the 2018 Bears of Brooks River book #801 , not the 603 in the 2018 Bears of Brooks River book on page 78 )? What are your thoughts?
2016.07.03: 68 and 747 strut their stuff in this video by Mike Fitz.:Mike Fitz' full breakdown of the above video can be read in his Strut Your Stuff blog.
Mike does identify both 68 and 747 in his Strut Your Stuff blog.:
2016.08.30: 68 and 151 Walker video by Brenda D:
Cam viewer and park visitor Larinor was at Brooks Camp on 09/16/2016 ~ need to see if she is willing to have her photos of 68 from that day shared here.
Approximately 10:40 into this Explore Recorder video there is great close-up footage of 68 and 879 (note: times listed are Pacific Time not Alaska Time):
2016.09.24: 68 in the office video by Ratna:
68 and 151 Walker video by Ratna:
At approximately 12:10 on September 24, 2016 Pleiadians Bear captured this video of 68 in the far pool.:
2016.09.26: Ranger Leslie Skora (2016 KNP&P bear monitor) discusses 68 in the September 26, 2016 live chat. Ranger Leslie's opinion is that 68 is the bear that cam viewers have been referring to as "mystery bear" / "Not274".
(NEED LINK TO 2016.09.26 LIVE CHAT)
2016.10.01: 68 and 480 Ortis negotiate rights to earning a living in the "office". 480 Otis eventually plays the seniority card. 151 Walker approaches 480 Otis from the far pool. Video by Ratna:
2016.10.18: 68 video by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA).:
68 in the far pool video by Ratna:
2016.10.25: Ranger Leslie Skora (2016 KNP&P bear monitor) discusses 68 at 25:50 into this live chat :
68 was included in the 2017 Bears of Brooks River book on page 66.
2017.08.21: 68 and 32 Chunk video by Brenda D:
2017.08.22: 68 and 719 interaction:68 and 719 interaction video by Ratna:
Brenda D captured this video of 68 and 719 having words in the office.:
2017.08.24 approximately 18:10: Described by KCanada : "On August 24 2017, there was another encounter between 68 and 719. She got another smack from 68, one that was a little more forceful than 2 days before. SteveCA shows the encounter both from the Falls cam view and the Riffles cam. You can see while she runs from 68, she doesn't go far:" 68 and 719 encounter video by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA).:
"Longish head, thick neck, curved light-tipped ears and then hump, slump, rump profile."
68 in 2017 video of snapshots by GreenRiver:
19:49: 68 gets "grazered" by 128 Grazer video by Flyer 7474 (SteveCA):
09:09: 68 gets "grazered" by 128 Grazer video by Flyer 7474 (SteveCA):
68 gets "grazered" by 128 Grazer video by Ratna:68 blowing bubbles video by Ratna
Explore video of 68 blowing bubbles: (Published 9/7/2017 but probably from 9/3/2017 like Ratna's video just above)
2017.09.08: 32 Chunk, 480 Otis, 68 and 83 Wayne Brother at the falls video by Ratna:
During a play-by-play with Ranger Becca (providing commentary of the bear activity on the Brooks River) and Ranger David Kopshever (performing parabolic microphone operation) bear 474 and 32 Chunk have an altercation. 68 was in close proximity to the interaction between 474 and 32. Brenda D recorded this video of the play-by-play.
Ratna's video that focuses more on the time period just prior to and during the 474 / 32 altercation with 68 in close proximity:
Park visitors and cam viewers, Cheri and Dale were on the Brooks Falls wildlife viewing platform during the play-by-play and shared their experience in this blog with photos of 68 during the 474 / 32 altercation.
2017.09.21 OR PRIOR: 32 Chunk chases 68 in this Explore highlight video (published 9/21/2017 but probably from a different date).:
2017.10.01: 68 video by birdnerd57:SP-GA's snapshot of 68 with gull on his back.:
2017.10.02: 68 video by Susan Tunstall:
2017.10.03: 68 in the jacuzzi video by Brenda D:
2017.10.06: 68 video by Ratna:
JG created this video of observations from the 2018 season to demonstrate how the bear believed to be 603 (on page 78 in the 2018 Bears of Brooks Book ~ the one with the "<" wound on his right side) transitions into the fall bear we have come to know as 68 (aka Rie's bear).
Deanna Dittloff (aka deelynnd) created this video of 2018 season observations of bears "Could it be Bear 68". Deanna said when sharing her video: "I titled it “Could it be 68”because I struggle to ID him early in the season, so I’m sure there are some snapshots & video that aren’t him.":
2018.07.11: Could this be 68 that 747 is unsuccessful at displacing form the jacuzzi? Video by Lani H.:
2018.07.22: An unidentified boar (68 maybe?) displaces 856 from the jacuzzi video by Lani H:
Explore recorder video At 18:30 -- 856 is in the J, 68 is eating a fish near the island, and 747 is downstream from the rock near the office. 68 displaces 856 from the J.:
2018.09.12 approximately 16:15: 68 and 480 Otis Perform a Duet in G Major video by mckate. Title courtesy or Olga Mikhajlova. Be sure to have your sound on for the vocalizations of both bears.:
68 and 480 Otis video by Lani H. Be sure to have your sound on for the vocalizations of both bears.:68 and 480 Otis sing a duet video by tsaneda. Be sure to have your sound on for the vocalizations of both bears.:
2018.09.14: "The most dominant boar at Brooks River (of the 2018 season), 856 walks carefully past the second most dominant boar, 747 at the J and then heads for the far pool where he pics a fight with bear 68." in this video by Birgitt.:2018.09.14 - 2018.09.17: Ratna shared these photos (#1 , #2 & #3 ) of 68.:
2018.09.22: 480 Otis displaces 68 with minimal caloric expenditure video by mckate.:
2018.09.25: 747 kind of sits on 68 video by tsaneda:
2018.09.28: 68 and 83 Wayne Brother have a little meet up in the lower river video by Lani H.:
2018.09.30: 68 in the lower river video by Birgitt.:
2018.10.06: 68 (a large mature adult male) and 503 Cubadult (now a young adult male) playing in this video by Birgitt.:
2019.07.02: 856 challenges 68 (?) video by Birgitt:Tzusrule shared these snapshot collages (#1 & #2 ):
747 and an unidentified boar (68 maybe?) fight during a play-by-play with Mike Fitz, Resident Naturalist with Explore.org. 747 lost this battle of the big boars.
Video by Lee Block:
Video by Ratna:
2019.09.15: 68 and 503 Cubadult have an interaction that results in a play-fight during a remote play-by-play done by Explore Resident Naturalist, Mike Fitz. Cruiser captured this 68 & 503 Cubadult interaction along with Mike's commentary in this video .:
Known Courting & Mating:
There are no known relatives for 68 at this time. However, the conversation about 68 possibly being the 3rd Wayne Brother (83 and 868 being the two known Wayne Brothers) has often come up. On February 21, 2018, GreenRiver asked Mike Fitz his thoughts on that 68 possible Wayne Brother topic. Here were Mike's thoughts:
"I've wondered about that, but I wasn't able to find anything in the bear monitoring notes hinting at that when I worked for the park. His size and age would match both 868's and 83's, but a lot of cubs were getting emancipated in 2006 and 2007. Without any DNA evidence or really good photos of the Waynes, then I'll have to say there's a chance but nothing can prove it conclusively."
868 Wayne Brother's page of the 2012 iBook provides some information about the 3rd "Wayne Brother":
83, 868 and 68 have been observed together using the Brooks River...even playing together for an extended period of time in the lower river. For example on October 4, 2014 Mike Fitz captured these videos:68 and 868 :
Genetics Study Samples Obtained:
There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) in 2016 by Ranger Michael Saxton for the genetics study.
There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) in 2017 by Ranger Michael Saxton for the genetics study.
NEED TO MOVE THIS INFORMATION TO APPROPRIATE SECTIONS ABOVE: