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814 Lurch July 2015 Snapshot by Jen

Adult Male

Year First Identified:  1st classified as young adult in 2005

Last Year Observed:  814 Lurch was last observed in July 2016, presumed decased (see August 2016)

Offspring Of:  Not known

Genetics Study Samples Obtained:  Former KNP&P Wildlife Biologist, Tamara Olson successfully darted 814 Lurch in 2006.  Ranger Michael Saxton was not able to attempt to dart 814 Lurch in 2016 prior to 814 Lurch's remains being discovered. 


Identification:

2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook & 2014 Bears of Brooks River book:  814 is a medium-large adult with a flopped over or cropped right ear, and a distinctive scar aboe his right eye.  In June and July, his back has a pronounced saddle and is sometimes noticeably shed out.  Late in the summer, his new coat is a uniform dark brown, and his scars might not be visible.

2015 & 2016 Bears of Brooks River books:  814 is a very large adult male with a short right ear, a long muzzle, and a distinctive scar above his right eye. In June and July, his back has a pronounced saddle and is sometimes noticeably shed out. Late in the summer, his new coat is a uniform dark brown. Like 856, 814 is often seen repeatedly licking his lips while he fishes and walks around Brooks Falls.

Later editions 814 Lurch was one of the most distinctive bears at Brooks River.  He was very large and was missing his right ear.  His muzzle was long, and he had a disctinctive scar above his right eye.  In June and July, his back had a pronounced saddle and was sometimes noticeably shed out.  Late in the summer, his new coat was a uniform dark brown.  

Distinctive Behaviors:

2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook:  814 Lurch was described as a young adult male when he was first identified in 2005.  In 2008 and 2009, this bear has snown increasing signs of dominance by stealing fish and displacing other bears from fishing spots.  814 Lurch was observed killing 435 Holly's spring cub on June 30, 2009.

2014 Bears of Brooks River book:  814 was described as a young adult male when he was first identified in 2005. Since 2008, this bear has becoming increasingly dominant. He will steal fish and regularly displaces other bears from his preferred fishing spots.

He was observed killing 435 Holly's spring cub on June 30, 2009. It is unclear why adult males will sometimes kill cubs as the cub is not always eaten. Certainly in some situations hunger plays a role, but at other times a cub may be killed and not consumed. Motivation to mate with the cub’s mother is another hypothesis as to why some males perform infanticide.

In October 2012, 814 was seen guarding a food cache near the mouth of the Brooks River. Later observations determined that he was guarding and feeding on a dead bear. It is unknown whether or not 814 killed the bear he was feeding on. He likely appropriated the cache from 469 "Digger" / "Patches" who was seen digging in the same spot.

For bears like 814, calories are calories. It makes no difference whether or not the calories come from salmon or another bear. 814’s actions demonstrate the successful survival skills of a dominant bear.

2015 & 2016 Bears of Brooks River books:  Same as 2014 edition above with the following additional infromation:

He also appropriated a food cache containing another dead bear in October 2013. 

Later Editions: Like 856, 814 Lurch was often observed repeatedly licking his lips while he fished and walked around Brooks Falls.  In 2005, when initially classified as a young adult, 814 typically fished the riffles, cut bank area, and scavenged salmon carcasses at Brooks Falls.  Since 2008, however, this bear became increasingly dominant.  814 would steal fish and regularly displace other bears from his preferred fishing spots.  814 became one of the most dominant bears on the river and only consistently yielded space to 856 and 747 from 2012 to 2015.   

Life History:

2005:  Young Adult Male, 1st Year Classified

814 Lurch was described as a young adult male when he was first identified in 2005.  

2006:

July 2006:

2007:

June 2007:

2007.06.29:  Ranger Jeanne's photo of 814 Lurch

2008:

2008 Season:

In 2008, 814 Lurch showed increasing signs of dominance be stealing fish and displacing other bears from fishing spots.

September 2008:

2008.09.21:  Ranger Jeanne's flickr album with photos of 814 Lurch and 489 Ted playing.

2009:

2009 Season:

In 2009, 814 Lurch again showed increasing signs of dominance be stealing fish and displacing other bears from fishing spots.

2009.??.?? or prior:  Sometime in 2009 or prior, park visitor MrDavidkenning captured this video of 814 Lurch rubbing on a tree on the island downriver of Brooks Falls,  Thank you cam viewer, kcanada for sharing the link to this video for 814's wiki page:

814_Lurch_rubs_on_a_tree_on_the_island_downriver_of_Brooks_Falls_2009_or_prior_video_by_MrDavidkenning_MVI_0981.MOV

814 Lurch rubs on a tree on the island downriver of Brooks Falls 2009 or prior video by MrDavidkenning MVI 0981.MOV

June 2009:

814 was observed killing 435 Holly's spring cub on June 30, 2009. It is unclear why adult males will sometimes kill cubs as the cub is not always eaten.  Certainly in some situations hunger plays a role, but at other times a cub may be killed and not eaten.  Motivation to mate with the cub's mother is another hypothesis as to why some male bears perform infanticide.  During the situation in 2009, 814 took the cub into the woods away from the river, so it is unknown whether or not he ate the cub.

2009.06.27:  Ranger Jeanne's photo of 814 Lurch.

2009.06.30:  WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO!:  Some viewers may find this video content difficult to watch.  814 Lurch kills 435 Holly's spring cub.  KNP&P video :

814_Lurch_kills_435_Holly's_spring_cub_June_30,_2009_video_by_KNP&P

814 Lurch kills 435 Holly's spring cub June 30, 2009 video by KNP&P

It is unclear why adult males will sometimes kill cubs as the cub is not always eaten.  More information on infanticide is available on page 10 of the 2018 Bears of Brooks River book:  Cub Killer? Infanticide in Bears:

July 2009:

2009.07.xx:  814 Lurch steals a fish from another large bear in this video by RJSVids:

814_Lurch_steals_a_fish_July_2009_Grizzly_Bear_Eating_Salmon_at_Brooks_Falls,_Alaska_video_by_RJSVids

814 Lurch steals a fish July 2009 Grizzly Bear Eating Salmon at Brooks Falls, Alaska video by RJSVids

2010:

July 2010:

2010.07.??: Park visitor Matt Hirt captured video of 814 Lurch in July of 2010. Matt explains in his comments below the video that the footage is from both July of 2010 and July of 2013.

"Thanks so much for your comment mckate, I'm glad you are enjoying the footage. Lurch was a memorable character to say the least! Yes, the dates are as follows: Opening still: July 25 2013. Scene 1 (0:05 - 0:35): July 22 2010. Scene 2 (0:35 - 1:11): July 23, 2013. Scene 3 (1:11 - 2:11): July 23 2010. Scene 4 (2:11 - 3:06) : July 25 2013. Scene 4 (3:07 - 3:13): July 23, 2013. Closing still: July 26 2013 (taken by my mom Heidi Hirt-Kueng). So basically the "skinny Lurch" footage is from July 2010 and the "fat Lurch" footage from July 2013... ;-). I believe 2013 had a more abundant Sockeye Salmon run in the area, so by roughly the same time of the year (as compared to 2010), the bears were already much better fed..." Mike Fitz commented on the video on 4/5/2021, ""Looks like maybe 92 that Lurch backs down at 1:25, but I'm not sure. 234 Evander is behind them against the far wall. Oh, and during the 814/possible 92 encounter, Otis is sitting in his office."

Bear_Portrait-_Bear_-814_Lurch_(Brooks_River,_Alaska)

Bear Portrait- Bear -814 Lurch (Brooks River, Alaska)

Video by Matt Hirt

2010.07.??: Park visitor Marcia Bernstein (aka marciabhoopoe) captured this July 2010 video of 814 Lurch scratching his back on a tree on the island below Brooks Falls:

Aaah,_good_back_scratch.MOV_July_2010_by_marciabhoopoe_(814_Lurch)

Aaah, good back scratch.MOV July 2010 by marciabhoopoe (814 Lurch)

2010.07.08:  Ranger Jeanne's photos (#1 , #2 , #3 & #4 )  of 814 Lurch.

September 2010:

2011:

2011 season:

In this 2011 video by Rubeena Bokhari, 814 Lurch appears to be the bear that is standing and eating fish by the far pool, video posted on 8/16/2011. 

Alaska_2011_Grizzlies_at_Brooks_Falls,_video_by_Rubeena_Bokhari

Alaska 2011 Grizzlies at Brooks Falls, video by Rubeena Bokhari

July 2011:

Madonna Martin Photography captured 4 photos of 814 Lurch at the falls in July of 2011, #1, #2, #3 and #4.

September 2011:

2012:

814 Lurch was included in the 2012 Bears of Brooks River iBook:

July 2012:

October 2012:

In October 2012, 814 was seen guarding a food cache near the mouth of the Brooks River.  Later observations determined that he was guarding and feedling on a dead bear.  It is unknown whether or not 814 Lurch killed the bear he was feding on.  He likely appropriated the cache from 469 "Patches"/"Digger" who was seen digging in the same spot. 

2012.10.07 - 2012.10.09:  Explore Bear Blog:  The Violent Side of Nature by Ranger Roy Wood :

"On Sunday morning, October 7, biologists stationed at Brooks Camp noted that adult male Bear 469* (no nickname, but this is the one bearcam viewers called “Digger”) had apparently killed something and was in the process of caching it. A bear will often cache food when there is more than can be eaten at once. Salmon, for example, are typically not cached, but a moose would be. Throughout the day, Bear 469 added to, and rearranged his cache, and slept. Biologists later that day, (after the cams shut down), determined that the cache contained the remains of an unidentified bear.

Sometime after dark and before the biologists returned to the Lower River on Monday, October 8, another bear, Bear 814 (Lurch) arrived on the scene and took over Bear 469’s cache, chasing him off. Bear 469 was not killed, and was seen one additional time after the cache-building event. Throughout the day on Monday, Bear 814 was observed to be adding to and rearranging his cache.

On Tuesday morning, October 9, biologists once again observed the remains of a bear in the cache. Bear 814 was seen to periodically dig into the cache and pull out a part of the dead bear and eat it. When not eating, he slept and rearranged his cache. Most other bears continued to steer clear of Bear 814 and his well-guarded cache. Whether you are man or beast, stumbling upon a brown bear’s cache is one of the most dangerous situations to find yourself in. Bears know this all too well, but may initially be drawn close by the irresistible smell of rotting meat. You will sometimes see a bear walk past the bridge, and upon recognizing the cache and Bear 814, they turn and move away quickly.

Bear 814 has become somewhat notorious at Brooks Camp, beginning with the killing of Bear 435’s (Holly) spring cub in 2009. Now in his prime of 15 or 16 years old, he has become more dominant at Brooks Falls in July, often lurking downstream from the falls and then stealing fish from the other bears. While his behavior earns him scorn from most visitors and bearcam viewers, this form of dominance can be quite successful over time. His reputation among bears enables him to fish where he wants, and frequently results in his mating with numerous female bears in June and July. However, it is a fine line that he walks: too much aggression may ultimately lead to more fights, with possible life threatening injuries, especially as he ages and younger bears challenge his dominance. On a related note: last week it is believed that Bear 814 killed and ate a subadult bear about a half mile from the Lower River area. The cache-stealing and cannibalism we have just witnessed probably happens more than we know. Regardless, this late season feast virtually guarantees Bear 814’s winter survival and return to Brooks Camp in 2013.

Bear 814 continues to guard his cache on Wednesday and Thursday, even as its size diminishes. In time, there will not be enough caloric value to what remains in the cache, and he will move on. Until then, we are privileged to have this safe, front row seat at one of nature’s little-seen events.

  • Bear 469 has no nickname, and only frequents Brooks River late in the fall, after most humans have left. He is not habituated to the presence of people and is more active early in the morning. The light patch that appears to be a scar on the bearcam is actually a diamond-shaped patch of mocha colored fur."    

Cam viewer, Jen shared this resource:  "Friends For Dinner: Why Some Animals Become Cannibals" by Liz Langley for National Geographic to help us understand 814 Lurch.  

The ID of the bear in the cache is not known, comment from Ranger Roy :

2012.10.12:  814 Lurch fishing in the lower river in close proximity to his 2012 cache video by MsDebbiB:

Lurch_Eating_his_Dinner_of_Fish_and_his_Stash_Meal_10.12.2012_at_4_30_pm_video_by_MsDebbiB

Lurch Eating his Dinner of Fish and his Stash Meal 10.12.2012 at 4 30 pm video by MsDebbiB

2012.10.18 09:10:  Another bear capitalzing on the remains of 814's cache, video by eaglewhisperer18:

09_10_October_18,_2012_Another_bear_capitalizes_on_the_remains_in_814's_cache_video_by_Eaglewhisperer18

09 10 October 18, 2012 Another bear capitalizes on the remains in 814's cache video by Eaglewhisperer18

2013:

July 2013:

2013.07.??: Park visitor Matt Hirt captured video of 814 Lurch in July of 2013. Matt explains in his comments below the video that the footage is from both July of 2010 and July of 2013.

"Thanks so much for your comment mckate, I'm glad you are enjoying the footage. Lurch was a memorable character to say the least! Yes, the dates are as follows: Opening still: July 25 2013. Scene 1 (0:05 - 0:35): July 22 2010. Scene 2 (0:35 - 1:11): July 23, 2013. Scene 3 (1:11 - 2:11): July 23 2010. Scene 4 (2:11 - 3:06) : July 25 2013. Scene 4 (3:07 - 3:13): July 23, 2013. Closing still: July 26 2013 (taken by my mom Heidi Hirt-Kueng). So basically the "skinny Lurch" footage is from July 2010 and the "fat Lurch" footage from July 2013... ;-). I believe 2013 had a more abundant Sockeye Salmon run in the area, so by roughly the same time of the year (as compared to 2010), the bears were already much better fed..." Mike Fitz commented on the video on 4/5/2021, ""Looks like maybe 92 that Lurch backs down at 1:25, but I'm not sure. 234 Evander is behind them against the far wall. Oh, and during the 814/possible 92 encounter, Otis is sitting in his office."

Bear_Portrait-_Bear_-814_Lurch_(Brooks_River,_Alaska)-2

Bear Portrait- Bear -814 Lurch (Brooks River, Alaska)-2

Video by Matt Hirt


2013.07.??: July 2013 Flickr NPS video by Mike Fitz. 856 chases 814 Lurch away. 856 then displays his dominance by cowboy walking and rubbing on trees.


September 2013:

2013.09.15:  Ranger Jeanne's photo of 814 Lurch. 2013.09.18:  Ranger Jeanne's photo of 814 Lurch.

October 2013:

814 Lurch also appropriated a food cache containing another dead bear in October 2013.  For bears like 814, calories are calories.  It made no difference whether or not the calories came from salmon or another bear.  814's actions demonstrated the successful survival skills of a dominant bear.  

2013.10.06:  Ranger Chad Billock captured these photos of 814 Lurch guarding his cache on the beach near the Brooks Camp Campground:

2013.10.22:  Ranger Mike visited Brooks Camp.  On October 24, 2013 Ranger Mike shared that there was nothing left of the carcass in 814 Lurch's cache except some fur.  Ranger Mike emphasized that one should never knowingly approach carcasses in bear country since bears often defend these food sourcs aggressively.  In this case, several other NPS employees and Ranger Mike were able to see the site from a boat, and after determining that the site looked bear free, they approached as a tight group from several yards away on the beach just in case a bear was lingering nearby.  Ranger Mike also shared that in his opinion, 814 Lurch was the most dominant bear that regularly used the Brooks River in fall of 2013.  814's large size allows him to successfully defend carcasses from almost all other bears.  By defending and feeding on this carcass, like he did in 2012, Lurch was able to appropriate a large and high calorie source of food.  He essentially guaranteed those calories to himself which gave him a competitive advantage over other bears.  Barring no injuries, 814 was able to survive the winter and spring easily and was able to compete for mates in 2014.  814 demonstrated the successful survival skills of a dominant brown bear.  


2013.10.25 10:xx:  814 Lurch near fish ladder Part 1 video by kindaround1:

814_Lurch_by_river_bank_above_BF_question_sleeping_or_eating_poss_cache_video_by_kindaround1

814 Lurch by river bank above BF question sleeping or eating poss cache video by kindaround1

814 Lurch near fish ladder Part 2 video by kindaround1:

814_Lurch_by_riv_bank_2_gets_up_video_by_kindaround1

814 Lurch by riv bank 2 gets up video by kindaround1

814 Lurch near fish ladder video by Linda Jett.:

Bear_eating_above_Brooks_Falls_in_Bushes_10_25_2013_10_40_37_PM_1_by_Linda_Jett

Bear eating above Brooks Falls in Bushes 10 25 2013 10 40 37 PM 1 by Linda Jett

2014:

814 Lurch was included in the 2014 Bears of Brooks River book page 27:

July 2014:

2014.07.04:  Life and Death on the Bear Cam by John Herman  at The AWL.  John Herman interviews Ranger Roy and learns some details about 814 Lurch and the October 2012 cache.   2014.07.05:  Ranger Jeanne's photos (#1 & #2 ) of 814 Lurch.

September 2014:

2014.09.10:  814 Lurch displaces 480 Otis video by JoeBear:

814_Lurch_runs_480_Otis_off_video_by_JoeBear

814 Lurch runs 480 Otis off video by JoeBear

October 2014:

2014.10.25:  814 Lurch video by Explore:

814_Lurch_being_Lurch_October_25,_2014_video_by_Explore.org

814 Lurch being Lurch October 25, 2014 video by Explore.org

2015:

814 Lurch was included in the Adult Males section of the 2015 Bears of Brooks River book on page 67.:

June 2015:

814 Lurch apparently had his right ear torn off in the spring of 2015.  How and when did that happen?  No one knows, but the wound around his ear and right side of his face appeared very fresh when he was first observed in mid June 2015.  He likely was injured in a fight with another bear, but this is not known with certainty.

July 2015:

2015.07.08 :   814 Lurch fishes the lip of the falls:

2015.07.12:  814 Lurch attmepts to steal a fish from another bear.  The other bear goes over the falls while working to protect their catch.  The fish is lost in the descent down the falls.  Video by JoeBear:

814_Lurch_assists_bear_down_from_Brooks_Falls_July_12,_2015_video_by_JoeBear

814 Lurch assists bear down from Brooks Falls July 12, 2015 video by JoeBear

Nancy Clark captured 7/12/2015 video of 480 Otis (left) 32 Chunk (near) and 814 Lurch (far) on 7/12/2015.

Bandicam_2015_07_12_09_28_29_922,_video_by_Nancy_Clark-1

Bandicam 2015 07 12 09 28 29 922, video by Nancy Clark-1

2015.07.29: 

814 Lurch Part 1 video by Tzz Oha:

2015_07_29_At_BF_Lurch_814_in_salmon_coma?_Part1_video_by_Tzz_Oha

2015 07 29 At BF Lurch 814 in salmon coma? Part1 video by Tzz Oha

814 Part 2 video by Tzz Oha:

2015_07_29_At_BF_Lurch_814_in_salmon_coma?_Part2_video_by_Tzz_Oha

2015 07 29 At BF Lurch 814 in salmon coma? Part2 video by Tzz Oha

Ranger Mike's 07/30/2015 comment about 814's behavior on 07/29/2015:

2016:  Adult Male, Last Year Observed

814 Lurch was included in the Adult Males section of the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book on page 78.:

2016 Season:

Mocha captured this video of 747 (not 856) cowboy walking, jaw popping, and asserting his dominance over 814 Lurch .  89 Backpack and 410 Four Ton are the bears above the falls.

856_cowboy_walk_(RIP_814)_2016-0

856 cowboy walk (RIP 814) 2016-0

June 2016:

2016.06.23:  814 Lurch returns to the Brooks River for the 2016 season video by Erum Chad (Erie):

Return_of_814_Lurch_2016_06_23_video_by_Erum_Chad_(Erie)

Return of 814 Lurch 2016 06 23 video by Erum Chad (Erie)

814 Lurch is the bear that is seen above the falls early into this video by Ratna Narayan.  814 then climbs below the falls to fish in the far pool. 51 Diver Jr is the bear in the jacuzzi in the beginning of this video.  747 is the bear that comes up river from below the island and his approach displaces 51 Diver Jr from the jacizzi.  747 then goes to fish in the jacuzzi after pausing up river of the island.:

51_Diver_Jr,_814_Lurch_and_747_June_23,_2016_by_Ratna_Narayan-0

51 Diver Jr, 814 Lurch and 747 June 23, 2016 by Ratna Narayan-0

2016.06.24: 

814 Lurch and 856 video by Ratna:

Polite_chat_between_Lurch_and_856_6_24_2016_by_Ratna-0

Polite chat between Lurch and 856 6 24 2016 by Ratna-0

14:5x:  856 displaces 814 Lurch video by Mickey Williams:

2_5?_pm_856_chases_814_Lurch_away_from_Falls_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_video_by_Mickey_Williams

2 5? pm 856 chases 814 Lurch away from Falls Katmai National Park and Explore video by Mickey Williams

2016.06.24:

814 Lurch and 856 video by Ratna: 

Polite_chat_between_Lurch_and_856_6_24_2016_by_Ratna-1

Polite chat between Lurch and 856 6 24 2016 by Ratna-1

14:5?:  856 displaces 814 Lurch video by Mickey Williams:

2_5?_pm_856_chases_814_Lurch_away_from_Falls_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_by_Mickey_Williams

2 5? pm 856 chases 814 Lurch away from Falls Katmai National Park and Explore by Mickey Williams

18:xx - 19:xx:  83 Wayne Brother in far pool and 814 Lurch in the office video by Ratna:

83_Wayne_Brother_in_far_pool_and_814_Lurch_in_the_office_June_24,_2016_video_by_Ratna

83 Wayne Brother in far pool and 814 Lurch in the office June 24, 2016 video by Ratna

2016.06.25 Early Morning:  814 Lurch at sunrise snapshot by Brian W:

2016.06.26:  Cam viewer, Ratna captured these snapshots (#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6#7 ) of 814 Lurch:

Ratna also captured this video of 814 Lurch:

The_gorgeous_Lurch!_6_26_2016_by_Ratna_Narayan

The gorgeous Lurch! 6 26 2016 by Ratna Narayan


2016.06.27 14:05:  814 Lurch charges 89 Backpack video by Mickey Williams:

2_05_pm_814_Lurch_chases_89_backpack_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_video_by_Mickey_Williams

2 05 pm 814 Lurch chases 89 backpack Katmai National Park and Explore video by Mickey Williams

814 Lurch charges 410 Four-ton video by Ratna:

814_Lurch_chases_410_beautiful_video_June_27,_2016_video_by_Ratna

814 Lurch chases 410 beautiful video June 27, 2016 video by Ratna

17:36:  814 Lurch video by Mickey Williams:

5_36_pm_6-27-16_814_Lurch_on_the_island_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_video_by_Mickey_Williams

5 36 pm 6-27-16 814 Lurch on the island Katmai National Park and Explore video by Mickey Williams

2016.06.28 17:30:  814 Lurch resting on island downriver of Brooks Falls video by Mickey Williams:

5_30_pm_6-28-16_814_Lurch_on_the_island_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_video_by_Mickey_Williams

5 30 pm 6-28-16 814 Lurch on the island Katmai National Park and Explore video by Mickey Williams

17:47:  747 displaces 814 Lurch from the island downriver of Brooks Falls video by Mickey Williams:

5_47_pm_6-28-16_747_displaces_814_Lurch_from_island_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_video_by_Mickey_Williams

5 47 pm 6-28-16 747 displaces 814 Lurch from island Katmai National Park and Explore video by Mickey Williams


2016.06.29 Approx 23:00:  814 Lurch video by Arlene Beech:

814_Lurch._Brooks_Falls_Katmai._23.00_29_June_2016_video_by_Arlene_Beech

814 Lurch. Brooks Falls Katmai. 23.00 29 June 2016 video by Arlene Beech

2016.06.30:  814 Lurch taking a nap video by CherylB (aka BearNecessities):

2016_06_30_00_21_04_mp4_Bear_Lurch_814_taking_a_snooze

2016 06 30 00 21 04 mp4 Bear Lurch 814 taking a snooze

814 Lurch taking a snooze June 30, 2016 video by CherylB (aka BearNecessities)

814 Lurch fishing, 6/30/2016 video by Cheryl B (aka BearNecessities).

2016_06_30_11_44_Lurch_fishing

2016 06 30 11 44 Lurch fishing

814 Lurch fishing June 30, 2016 video by Cheryl B


July 2016:

2016.07.02 .06:35:  814 Lurch successfully fishing video by Pleiadians Bear:

06_35_am_July_02,_2016_-_Lurch_is_Hungry_!_video_by_Pleiadians_Bear

06 35 am July 02, 2016 - Lurch is Hungry ! video by Pleiadians Bear

2016.07.02:  814 Lurch and the angler video by Ratna:

814_Lurch_and_the_fisherman!_July_2,_2016_video_by_Ratna

814 Lurch and the fisherman! July 2, 2016 video by Ratna

2016.07.04 14:23:  480 Otis vacates the office for 814 Lurch video by Mickey Williams:

2_23_pm_07.04.16_480_Otis_moves_out_of_office_for_814_Lurch_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_video_by_Mickey_Williams

2 23 pm 07.04.16 480 Otis moves out of office for 814 Lurch Katmai National Park and Explore video by Mickey Williams

2016.07.04:  814 Lurch naps along the far shore of the Brooks River video by Brenda D:

07.04.2016_-_814_Lurch_Sleeping_video_by_Brenda_D

07.04.2016 - 814 Lurch Sleeping video by Brenda D

2016.07.06:

18:00:  814 Lurch video by Mickey Williams:

6_00pm_07.06.16_814_Lurch_Katmai_National_Park_and_Explore_video_by_Mickey_Williams

6 00pm 07.06.16 814 Lurch Katmai National Park and Explore video by Mickey Williams

23:45:  775 Lefty and 814 Lurch video by LuvBears:

775_Lefty_talking_back_to_814_Lurch_11_45pm_2016_July_6_video_by_LuvBears

775 Lefty talking back to 814 Lurch 11 45pm 2016 July 6 video by LuvBears

814 Lurch video by Ratna:

814_Lurch_and_Alice!_Lurch_catches_a_fish_,_climbs_up_the_falls_and_loses_it_July_6,_2016_video_by_Ratna

814 Lurch and Alice! Lurch catches a fish , climbs up the falls and loses it July 6, 2016 video by Ratna

814 Lurch steals a fish from 480 Otis video by Brenda D:

07.06.2016_-_480_Otis,_814_Lurch,_steals_fish_video_by_Brenda_D

07.06.2016 - 480 Otis, 814 Lurch, steals fish video by Brenda D

2016.07.07:  747 and 814 Lurch do the dance of dominance video by Brenda D

07.07.2016_-_747_and_814_Lurch_dance_on_the_falls_video_by_Brenda_D

07.07.2016 - 747 and 814 Lurch dance on the falls video by Brenda D

7/7/2016 video by Ratna Narayan of 747 and 814 Lurch on top of the falls.

Awesome!_747_and_Lurch_on_top_of_the_falls!

Awesome! 747 and Lurch on top of the falls!

Video by Ratna Narayan


814 Lurch was last observed in July 2016.

August 2016:

In August 2016, the remains of a bear were found on an angler trail behind the Brooks Falls wildlife viewing platform.  The dental remains compared to photos of 814 Lurch's teeth showed striking resemblance.  814 was not seen after late July.  It is not certain whether the skeletal remains belong to 814, but the evidence indicates his death.

2017:  814 Lurch was Not Observed during the 2017 Season

814 Lurch was included in the 2017 Bears of Brooks River book on page 80.  814 still remained in the Adult Males section of this edition of the book.

2018:  814 Lurch was Not Observed during the 2018 Season

814 Lurch was moved to the Bears No Longer seen section of the 2018 Bears of Brooks River book on page 114.:

2019:  

March 2019:

2019.03.13:  March 13, 2019 was "Bears No Longer Seen" day on the bearcam comments.  VIP (volunteer in park) and cam viewer, Stacey shared some fond memories of 814 Lurch from her years observing him on the live cams prior to his death in 2016. 

"Hi, everyone --

On a day when we remember Bears No Longer Seen, I want to post a bit about 814 Lurch.

1) When I started watching the cams, in 2013, 814 was one of the largest and most dominant bears around.

He was BIG. He would show dominance to other bears. And he had been seen caching and eating the bodies of dead bears (though I'm not sure that he was ever seen actually killing any bear.)

2) Then, in 2015, he appeared very early in the season -- and he was missing his right ear!

(For the rest of his life, this made him very easy to ID. :-)

For many weeks, he wasn't his usual dominant self -- he'd fish in the Lower River, and he'd just stand there, not moving; there were times that I couldn't bear to watch.

Here's a blog that Mike Fitz wrote at this time:  Hey Lurch! What's Up with You? 

3) In fall of 2015, after following the salmon upstream in August, 814 Lurch returned to Brooks Cam, and he was his usual dominant self! He fished at the falls, and he was back to pushing other bears around.

Another example of how resilient bears can be.

4) In August 2016, an NPS archeologist found the bones of a bear on a trail near the falls. Examining the teeth, park staff noted a similarity to those of Bear 814 Lurch.

Was the dead bear 814? We'll never know for sure -- but 814 was never seen after the bones were found.

Here's the fascinating blog post that Mike Fitz wrote about the Bones of a Bear. (Warning: Photographs show the dead bear's skeleton and skull.):  Bear Bones 

So, here's to 814 Lurch! From him, I learned a lot about dominance, bears just being bears, weakness, resilience, and the natural cycle of bear life.

Thanks, 814 Lurch, for being such a great teacher!"

How 814 Lurch Got His Nickname:

When 814 Lurch was younger, he was tall and thinner, and would stand off to the side while other bears fished. He reminded one of the bear biologists of Lurch on the Addams Family.

Fun Facts about 814 Lurch:

  • 814 Lurch was observed play-fighting with 489 Ted in 2008.
  • 814 Lurch would steal fish from 480 Otis.
  • Even though 814 Lurch and 747 were both very dominant bears, 747 was somewhat more tolerant of other bears than 747.  814 was more like 856 when it came to tolerance of other bears.
  • Like 856, 814 Lurch was often seen repeatedly licking his lips while he fished and walked around Brooks Falls.
  • In 2015, 814 Lurch was heard snoring near the boardwalk to the Brooks Falls wildlife viewing platform where he was sleeping just a few feet away by park visitor Kathy and her husband.  814 Lurch was easy for Kathy and her husband to identify because of the wound from his missing ear.
  • 814 Lurch is one of the few boars that we have not uncovered any mating information / evidence on!

Known Courting & Mating:

Add here

Known Relatives:

None known at this time

Genetics Study Samples Obtained:

2006:  Successfully Darted by Wildlife Biologist, Tamara Olson

814 Lurch was successfully darted by former KNP&P Wildlife Biologist, Tamara Olson.

2016:  None

Ranger Michael Saxton was not able to attempt darting 814 Lurch prior to 814 Lurch's remains being discovered in August 2016.  We are waiting to learn if 814 Lurch's DNA was obtained from his remains that were discovered by park staff.  The park did retain some of his bones and his claws.  

814 Lurch you are missed!

A special thank you to KCanada for the NPS photos from the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook.

A special thank you to Xander-Sage for creating the gif of NPS photos from the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook.

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