FANDOM


037314499

856

Adult Male ~ Most dominant bear from 2011 - 2016, 2018

Year First Identified:  2006 as a young adult

Offspring Of:  Not known

Genetics Study Samples Obtained:  856 was successfully sampled in 2006 by former wildlife biologist Tamara Olson who obtained a hair sample.  Ranger Michael Saxton attempted to dart 856 in 2016, the attempt was unsuccessful.  There was no darting attempt in 2017.


Identification:

2014 Bears of Brooks River book:  856 is a large adult. He has a uniform brown and grizzled coat. His ears are blonde and wide-set. His forehead is wide, furred, and has a noticeable shed pattern in July. His face and front legs may have numerous small scars.  Like 747 "Colbert" and 814 Lurch, he is one of the largest bears that regularly uses the Brooks River.

2015 & 2016 Bears of Brooks River book:  856 is another very large bear. He has a uniformly brown and grizzled coat, his ears are blond and wide-set, and his forehead is wide and furred. He also has a noticeable dorsal stripe in July. His face and front legs may have numerous small scars.

Add here

Distinctive Behaviors:

2014 Bears of Brooks River book:  Unlike most bears, 856 is often seen repeatedly licking his lips while he fishes the lip and walks around Brooks Falls.

2015 & 2016 Bears of Brooks River book:  Like 814 Lurch, 856 is often seen repeatedly licking his lips while he fishes and walks around Brooks Falls.  856’s behavior and mere presence often has a cascading effects on the behavior of bears at Brooks River.  Dominance over other bears confers many advantages. .

Add here

Life History:

2006:

856 was initially classified as a young adult in 2006 and assigned his bear monitoring number.  Since then, he has been one of the largest, and most dominant bears along the river. Most other bears, including 747 "Colbert" and 814 Lurch, typically yield space to him.

July 2006:

2007:

July 2007:

On July 20, 2018 Mike Fitz shared this photo of 856 (left) with 6 Headbob/Bullet (right) on the lip of Brooks Falls in July 2007:

2008:

September 2008:

2008.09.21:  Ranger Roy Wood's photograph of 856.  856 (left) and 747 (right) playing in this photograph by Ranger Roy Wood.

2009:

June 2009:

July 2009:

2010:

856 and 402 mated in 2010.

July 2010:

2010.07.??:  Park visitor, Marcia Bernstein captured this video  of 856 eating his fish in July 2010:

Yum

Yum.MOV 856 July 2010 by Marcia Bernstein

2010.07.08:  856 mated with 402 on the evening of July 8, 2010.  402 also mated with 218 Ugly on the same evening.  Brooks Camp's July 9, 2010 tweet .:

September 2010:

2011:

July 2011:

856 managed to separate 402 from one of her spring cubs; he later returned and killed it.  (The video below does not show 856 killing the cub.)

856 separate 402 from one of her spring cubs July 2011-0

856 separate 402 from one of her spring cubs July 2011-0

Mike Fitz commented on July 20, 2018 at 10:55 and 11:30 about this incident:

It is unclear why adult males will sometimes kill cubs as the cub is not always eaten (also see 814 Lurch). In this instance 856 and 402 mated in 2010. Therefore, it is possible 856 killed his own offspring.   More information about infanticide is available on page 10 of the 2018 Bears of Brooks River book:  Cub Killer? Infanticide in Bears:

2012:

856 was included in the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook :

856 and 402 mated in 2012.

July 2012:

2012.07.06:  856 can be observed courting 744 Dent at 4:20 into this video by endoplasmic1357:

Alaska 20120706 17 Bear cub at Brooks Falls

Alaska 20120706 17 Bear cub at Brooks Falls

On April 11, 2017, Mike Fitz commented at 08:15 and identified the bears in the above video by endoplasmic1357.

September 2012:

2013:

Over the past several years, 856 has not yielded space or resources to any other bear at Brooks Falls.  Even other very dominant males, like 747 "Colbert" and 814 Lurch, yield space to him.

June 2013:

856 was observed courting and mating with 450 .  Explore.org created this highlight video of the courting and mating couple.  On February 21, 2018, Mike Fitz provided cam viewers with the ID of 450 in the Explore highlight video.:

The Chase - June Mating at The Riffles 450 & 856 June 2013 Explore Documentary Films-0

The Chase - June Mating at The Riffles 450 & 856 June 2013 Explore Documentary Films-0

July 2013:

2013.07.27:  Park visitor Eiji Takeshima capturd this close up video of 856 eating a fish near the island below the falls and then returning to the jacuzzi to fish some more.:

2013 0727 Katmai National Park Brown Bear Eating Salmon at Brooks Falls by Eiji Takeshima

2013 0727 Katmai National Park Brown Bear Eating Salmon at Brooks Falls by Eiji Takeshima

2014:

856 was included in the 2014 Bears of Brooks River book on page 28:

Over the past several years, 856 has mated with several adult females. In Katmai, most male bears do not have the opportunity to mate with females until they are in their early to mid teens—an age when they are large enough to compete other adult males for access to females. However, the hierarchy can change quickly, even within the same season. Therefore most bears, like 856, are adapted to take advantage of their position in the hierarchy.

2014 Season:

In early season 2014, 856 was observed appearing to attempt to court 402; but 402 still had a yearling cub in her care.  

Tim Auer captured some great photographs and wrote a blog abuot his observations of 856 with 402.  

June 2014:

Late June 2014 - Early July 2014:

2014.06.29 - 2014.07.05:  856 was observed courting 708 Amelia the week prior to July 12, 2014.:

An NPS photo by Ranger Michael Fitz appears in the July 15, 2014 Katmai Terrane blog: Being Dominant .  Ranger Jeanne commented on July 12, 2014 that 856 was courting 708 Amelia last week (which would have been between June 29, 2014 and July 5, 2014).:

July 2014:

In July 2014, 856 spent considerable time courting females. Consequently, he was noticeably skinnier than 747 "Colbert" or 814 Lurch by the end of that month.  856 continued his soap opera-like relationship with 402. While she was still caring for a yearling cub (now identified as 503 Cubadult ) from her 2013 litter, 402 apparently went into estrus, abandoned the cub, and after an extended courtship period of 11 days she mated with 856. 

2014.07.?? (2014.07.09 possibly):  856 separates 402 from her yearling (now known as 503 Cubadult) in this video by park visitors laddnshirl.  
856 separates 402 and her yearling (503) July 2014 video by laddnshirl

856 separates 402 and her yearling (503) July 2014 video by laddnshirl

2014.07.11: 

856 is still following 402 and the whereabouts of 402's remaining male yearling (503) is not known.  Ranger Mike Fitz comments on 07/11/2014 at 12:28 about what has been observed of 402, her remaining male yearling (503), and 856 from 07/09/2014 - 07/11/2014:

Ranger Mike also shared this 07/11/2014 KNP&P blog:  Surprises of the Bear World by Ranger Mike Fitz.

2014.07.12:   NPS photo by Ranger Michael Fitz of 856 eating a fish from the July 15, 2014 Katmai Terrane blog: Being Dominant .

2014.07.13:  Ranger Jeanne comments that she has no new information on 402's remaining yearling (503), but she has observed 402 twice this morning being pursued by 856.  Ranger Jeanne said that 402 is ranging about half mile down river from the falls since she observed 856 pursuing 402 in the oxbow area.  When asked if in her experience she would say that 402's remaining yearling was on his own to survivie, Ranger Jeanne replied that she has never seen a sow without one of her cubs for such a long period of time and then experienced them reuniting.  Ranger Jeanne said she has also never observed a male bear pursue a female in the way that resembles courting while she still had a dependent cub.  She said she observed 402 quite a bit this weekend, but never with her cub.  She said it does not necessarily mean that the cub is definitely on its own, but Ranger Jeanne did not personally see them together.:

2014.07.14:  856 was observed mating with 708 Amelia.  There was a video by Hermosa Paul on youTube, but youTube deleted it beacuse the words bear porn appeared in the title of the video. Mike Fitz did confirm the identification of the two bears in the video prior to it being deleted .


2014.07.15:  Katmai Terrane Blog:  Being Dominant by Ranger Mike Fitz 

2014.07.17 - 2014.07.21:  Park visitor, Tim Auer captured some incredible photographs of 856 and 402 during his trip to Brooks Camp.  Tim wrote a blog:  Katmai After Hours:  The Story of 856 and 402 where he also shared some of the images he captured.

2014.07.21:  After a courtship that lasted approximately 12 day, 856 mated with 402 near the falls.

September 2014:

2015:

856 was included in the 2015 Bears of Brooks River book on page 68:

Juergen and Martina created this video in March of 2015 of 856 (Juergen) singing to 128 Grazer:

856 and Juergen singing-0

856 and Juergen singing-0

2015 Season:

Volunteer in Park Anna-Marie AZ captured this video of 856 courting 410.

June 2015:

856 was observed courting 410 Four Ton in June 2015.  Explore.org created this highlight video :
Bear 856 Pursues Female Bear 410 - Brooks Falls Alaska - Live Cam Highlight-0

Bear 856 Pursues Female Bear 410 - Brooks Falls Alaska - Live Cam Highlight-0

2015.06.30:  Volunteer In Park Anna-Marie AZ captured these photos (#1 & #2) of 856 courting 410.:

Please request Anna-Marie's permission prior to using her photographs!

July 2015:

2015.07.??:  856 courting 410 photographs by Laura Lyn Photography:  Photo #1 , &  Photo #2 

2015.07.01:  856 courting 410 Four-Ton video by Mso Belle

Courting Pair in Lake Naknek July 1, 2015 by Mso Belle-0

Courting Pair in Lake Naknek July 1, 2015 by Mso Belle-0

2015.07.02:  856 courting 410 near lower river gif by IslandDunesGal .

2015.07.04:  Volunteer In Park Anna-Marie AZ captured this photo of 856 courting 410.: Please request Anna-Marie's permission prior to using her photographs!

2015.07.12:  856 and who(? 289 maybe) mating video by MsDebbiB:

856 mating with unknown female (?289 maybe) July 12, 2015 video by MsDebbiB

856 mating with unknown female (?289 maybe) July 12, 2015 video by MsDebbiB

Later the same day, Martina captured this video of 856 still courting the same female (? 289 maybe):
Explore org Bearcams Brooks Falls 07-12-2015 856 courting who (? 289 maybe) video by Martina

Explore org Bearcams Brooks Falls 07-12-2015 856 courting who (? 289 maybe) video by Martina

2015.07.24:  856 and 435 Holly interaction photographs by Mike Fitz posted February 10, 2017::

Please request Mike Fitz' permission prior to using his photographs!

2016:

856 was included in the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book on page 79:

2016 Season:

Cam viewer, Sunny captured these snapshots of 856 during the 2016 season (snapshot #1 , #2 , & #3 ).:

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9cc7693a75aa3a479af86fb03b2b536c75d807709c4d1185ceb125fd7f57a4c.jpg

June 2016:

AFTER 2016.06.23 (prior to the end of June 2016):

856 was grazered by 128 Grazer during the 2016 season.  Park visitor Kevin Lee captured this video during his 2016 trip to Brooks Camp.  856 being grazered by 128 Grazer can be seen from 10:28 - 11:18 into Kevin Lee's video:

Naknek, Alaska 2016 by Kevin Lee-2

Naknek, Alaska 2016 by Kevin Lee-2

Carol Gray Photography was there at the same time and captured multiple photos. First photo is 128 and cub . Click the >to see the sequence of 11 photos. 856 looks at least twice as big as 128.

2016.06.24: 

856 and 814 Lurch video by Ratna:

Polite chat between Lurch and 856 6 24 2016 by Ratna

Polite chat between Lurch and 856 6 24 2016 by Ratna

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

2;5? pm June 24, 2016 856 chases 814 Lurch away from Falls Katmai National Park and Explore by Mickey Williams

2;5? pm June 24, 2016 856 chases 814 Lurch away from Falls Katmai National Park and Explore by Mickey Williams

2016.06.29:  856 and 435 Holly splash and dash down the riffles video by Arlene Beech:

Holly and 856 go bouncing! Brooks Falls

Holly and 856 go bouncing! Brooks Falls. 29 June 2016 by Arlene Beech

July 2016:

Park Visitor and cam viewer, Scammin captured photographs of 856 during his July 2016 trip to Brooks Camp.  Scammin shared this photo on March 3, 2019 at 08:46 and this photo at 08:48 .  

2016.07.22:  On June 9, 2019 GreenRiver created this video that incorporates 402 with her 2 yearlings (811 & 812), 719, and 856 from July 22, 2016.  GreenRiver shared this information about her video.:

"I was bored this afternoon, so I made this quick little ditty, “ Suspense at Brooks Falls 2016”. I started watching the bear cams three years ago in 2016 so this will be my fourth season. This is one of the most memorable times from that first season. When 856 started after 402 and cubs and was sniffing them out by the observation deck at the falls, I was terrified, especially when he came right up to stare into the camera! I screamed and jumped a mile. The Camop said she did too. Can’t help but wonder about the people who were there that day. Yikes! 402 and the cubs went one way and 719 went the other. I never noticed it at the time but 812 seemed to know something was going on in the woods across the river because he was looking in that direction and he was right! I can’t wait to see what memorable times we will have this season. Nothing bad I hope."

Suspense at Brooks Falls by GreenRiver

Suspense at Brooks Falls by GreenRiver

This video by angerboda captures the July 22, 2016 close-up footage of 856 after 402 with her two yearlings (811 & 812) and 719 had departed the area as 856 approached.:

856! 07.22

856! 07.22.2016 by angerboda

2016.07.14:  Erie's video of 856 having a stroll on the Spit Road .....he was in a "smelling the flowers" mood, thank goodness. At the 1:50 mark a park visitor has no idea just how close he came to the areas most dominant boar.  At 3:00 we see 719 and 503 together shortly after emancipation.:

856 - 503 & 719 today spit road 2016-07-14 by Erum Chad

856 - 503 & 719 today spit road 2016-07-14 by Erum Chad

September 2016:

2016.09.15:  856 video by Ratna:

Unbelievable! 747 goes after Mystery bear at the falls then displaced 856 from the J Sept 15, 2016 by Ratna

Unbelievable! 747 goes after Mystery bear at the falls then displaced 856 from the J Sept 15, 2016 by Ratna

747 and 856 have words in the jacuzzi video by Brenda D: (turn on your sound for this one)
09.15

09.15.2016 - 747 and 856 Have Words in the Jacuzzi by Brenda D-0


2016.09.18:  856 video by Ratna:

856 Veni, Vidi, vici, I came, I peed, I scratched! ergo I am Caesar err 856! 09 18 2016 by Ratna

856 Veni, Vidi, vici, I came, I peed, I scratched! ergo I am Caesar err 856! 09 18 2016 by Ratna

2017:

856 was included in the 2017 Bears of Brooks River book on page 81:

2017 Season:

Xander-Sage captured this snapshot of 856 during the 2017 season.  Sunny captured these snapshots of 856 during the 2017 season (#1 & #2 ).:

GreenRiver created this 2017 slide show video documenting A Fallen King of Katmai :

"856, Brown Bear of Katmai National Park, Alaska. A powerful bear. The reigning dominant bear for quite a few years. One of the scariest bears on the river, if not THE scariest, in my opinion.

In 2017, the ordered world of Brooks River’s “bear town” was turned upside down when he showed up on camera at Brooks Falls, injured and limping. He could no longer hold his top position in the bear hierarchy. Until 747, second in the hierarchy, showed up extremely late and asserted his position as “king”, a bit of chaos ensued. 32 Chunk took over as the dominant bear but was, in my opinion, too “nice” to hold it. Popeye, also wounded and limping, was unable to establish dominance. On a number of days, the sows took over the falls, and it was overrun by cubs and subadults.

In the spring of 2018, bear cam watchers held their breath as they waited to see what would happen that season. The Katmai rangers indicated that, once having fallen from the top, it was very unlikely a bear would ever be able to regain his position as the dominant bear.

But, once again, our Brooks River bears broke the “rules”. 856 came back with a vengeance. He physically challenged the huge 747 and won, thus reestablishing his dominant position. Throughout the 2018 season he continually proved his top place in the bear hierarchy, even once to an unfortunate extreme.

856 was again the reigning dominant bear. Will he hold onto that position in 2019? The brown bear cams will tell the tale.

Here is a slide show video I made in 2017 when he fell from the top.

Music "Nexus Code" by Steve Everitt (Magisto license)."

856 - A Fallen King of Katmai (But still a Bear to be reckoned with) 2017 by GreenRiver

856 - A Fallen King of Katmai (But still a Bear to be reckoned with) 2017 by GreenRiver

July 2017:

2017.07.04:  856 video by babsgrabs that shows 856's limp.:

856 limp 2017 07 04 07 40 37 by babsgrabs

856 limp 2017 07 04 07 40 37 by babsgrabs

2017.07.17:  856 displaces 480 Otis video by Brenda D:

07.17

07.17.2017 - 856 moves 480 Otis video by Brenda D

32 greets 402 and 856 video by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA):

32 Greets 402 and 856 July 17, 2017 by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA)

32 Greets 402 and 856 July 17, 2017 by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA)

2017.07.21:  Park visitor and cam viewer, ElaineInDE, captured photos of 856 during her trip to Brooks Camp:  Photo #1 and Photo #2 .

2017.07.23:  Park visitor and cam viewer, JstDucky,  captured this photo of 856 during her trip to Brooks Camp.

September 2017:

2017.09.13:  32 Chunk, 480 Otis, and 856 video by Ratna:

The return of 856 as ided by Mike Fitz 9 13 2017 by Ratna

The return of 856 as ided by Mike Fitz 9 13 2017 by Ratna

2017.09.23:  856 video by Ratna:

Gorgeous bear 856??????????? 9 23 2017 by Ratna

Gorgeous bear 856??????????? 9 23 2017 by Ratna

2017.09.28:  Goldilocks captured these snapshots of 856 in a place that we never see him. Below the island, eating other's scraps.....building his strength and resolve for his triumphant return to the top in 2018.  (Snapshot #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 & #6 ):

October 2017:

Bookmom captured these snapshots of 856 in October 2017 (snapshot #1 & #2 ):

2017.10.21:  856 is in the "J". He runs to the top of the falls when he sees 32/Chunk coming. 32 follows him to the top of the falls and they have a brief discussion in this video by Cindy Tucker .
Interesting Interactions at the Falls October 21, 2017 by Cindy Tucker

Interesting Interactions at the Falls October 21, 2017 by Cindy Tucker

2017.10.24:  856 arrives and frightens 708 Amelia video by Melissa Freels.:

856 Arrives, Frightens 708, October 24, 2017 by Melissa Freels-0

856 Arrives, Frightens 708, October 24, 2017 by Melissa Freels-0

2017.10.27: 

856 in the office video by Brenda D:

10.27

10.27.2017 - 856 in the Office video by Brenda D

856 wanders the falls video by Brenda D:

10.27

10.27.2017 - 856 Wanders The Falls video by Brenda D

2018:

856 was included in the Adult Males section of the 2018 Bears of Brooks River book on page 84.  NPS photos of 856 (year taken unknown) also appear on page 21, Bear Monitoring At Brooks River, and page 64, Chapter 6: Adult Males.  856 is mentioned 33 times in the 2018 edition of the Bears of Brooks River book.:

2018 Season:

Deanna Dittloff (aka deelynnd) created this video of snapshots of 856 captured during the 2018 season:

Bear 856 2018 Season by Deanna Dittloff (aka deelynnd)

Bear 856 2018 Season by Deanna Dittloff (aka deelynnd)

Cam viewer, Kam created this artwork of 856 from the 2018 season:

Cam viewer, JG captured these snapshots of 856 during the 2018 season.  (Snapshot #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9 , #10 , #11 , & #12 ):

June 2018:

2018.06.06 & FEW DAYS PRIOR:

856 was observed courting 409 Beadnose  June 6, 2018 and the few days prior per Mike Fitz' June 6, 2018 Explore.org blog: Brooks River Bear Mating Season :

"Over the past few days at Brooks River, one of the area’s most dominant bears, 856, has been incessantly following the adult female 409 Beadnose. 409, many bearcam viewers may remember, raised two yearling cubs last summer, and she was seen with them earlier this spring. Now however, we know she has emancipated her cubs and is once again single. 856, perhaps more than anyone, knows this as well, and his proximity to Beadnose reveals his amorous intentions."

2018.06.16 Morning:  856 was observed courting 409 Beadnose on the morning of June 16, 2018 per Ranger Russ' June 16, 2018 10:35 comment :   "Good morning from Alaska. I'll be here the next half hour should you have any questions. Yes, we do expect to have the bearcams to be running and the Bear Book out by next week.

There were no bear sightings yesterday. This morning 856 was seen pursuing 409. I was not able to make a photograph, but it was confirmed by several people that they were the bears seen."

2018.06.21:  856 was observed on the Explore Falls Low View bearcam:

Xander-Sage created this gif and this gif  .

Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA) captured this video :

856 Shows Up at Brooks Falls June 21, 2018 by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA)-0

856 Shows Up at Brooks Falls June 21, 2018 by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA)-0

Casper Trout captured this video :

856 visits BF 2018 06 21 12 24 34 529 by Casper Trout-0

856 visits BF 2018 06 21 12 24 34 529 by Casper Trout-0

Cruiser captured this video :

856 visits Falls June 21 2018 by Cruiser-0

856 visits Falls June 21 2018 by Cruiser-0

Cruiser captured these snapshots :

Ratna captured this video :

856 6 21 18 by Ratna-0

856 6 21 18 by Ratna-0

2018.06.26:  Martina captured these snapshots of 856:

Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA) captured this video of 856 and 747's confrontation:

856-747 Confrontation June 26, 2018 by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA)

856-747 Confrontation June 26, 2018 by Flyer 7474 (aka SteveCA)

2018.06.28:  856 vs 755 Scare D Bear slow motion video by Ratna:

755 vs 856 slowed down 6 28 18 by Ratna-1

755 vs 856 slowed down 6 28 18 by Ratna-1

Arlene Beech (aka Homebird) captured this video of the interaction between 755 Scare D. Bear and 856.:

Bears 856 and 755 scuffle at the falls, Katmai Brown Bears,19

Bears 856 and 755 scuffle at the falls, Katmai Brown Bears,19.25 28 June 2018 by Arlene Beech-1

Xander-Sage created this gif of the interaction between 856 and 747.:

Brenda D captured this video of the interaction between 856 and 747.:

06.28

06.28.2018 - 856 Enters and Moves 747 by Brenda D

The second interaction between 747 and 856 on June 28, 2018 is captured in this video by Brenda D.:

06.28

06.28.2018 - 856 Moves 747 Again by Brenda D-0

2018.06.29:  856 NPS photo from KNP&P's October 6, 2018 06:00 Facebook post for the 2018 Fat Bear Week Contest:

July 2018:

Park visitor, Mike Weagley, captured this July 2018 video of 603.  128 Grazer, 409 Beadnose (with fish), and 775 Lefty on the lip near to far at the beginning of this video.  409 takes her fish closer to the fish ladder to consume her fish.  The video then switches to 603 (believed by some to possibly be 68 in the early season) and 856 (left to right) at the 0:36 mark  The video then goes back to the bears on the lip and then back again to 603 and 856.  The sweeping briefly to 755 Scare D Bear on the North side of the river.:

Katmai National Park 10 July 2018 by Mike Weagley-2

Katmai National Park 10 July 2018 by Mike Weagley-2

Mike Weagley also captured this July 2018 video of 603 (believed by some to possibly be early season 68) seen begging from 409 Beadnose while 128 Grazer and 775 Lefty fish the lip. When 603 turns away 856 is seen to the right.:

Katmai National Park 11 July 2018 by Mike Weagley-0

Katmai National Park 11 July 2018 by Mike Weagley-0

2018.07.01: 

Approximately 12:11:  856 vs 747 Altercation:

GABear created these gifs:  Gif #1 & Gif #2  Xander-Sage created this gif .  Shel captured these snapshots :  #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 & #6 .:

The Explore Recorder video that captures the altercation between 856 and 747.  When the altercation begins, 856 is the bear on the left at 39:50 into this video :.The interaction between 856 and 747 starts prior to that.  

856 attacks 747 slow motion video by tsaneda (aka Shovelbum81).  "After a fair amount of time cowboy walking and other dominance displays, 856 attacks 747 at Brooks Falls at approximately noon AKDT":

856 attacks 747 slow motion 1Jul2018 by tsaneda (aka Shovelbum 81)-1

856 attacks 747 slow motion 1Jul2018 by tsaneda (aka Shovelbum 81)-1

Martina captured this real-time video:

BF 2018-7-1 856 747 by Martina-0

BF 2018-7-1 856 747 by Martina-0

Wacker42 captured this video :

856 v 747 Smackdown by Wacker42-0

856 v 747 Smackdown by Wacker42-0

2018.07.03:  

On July 3, 2018 Mike Fitz, Explore.org's Bearcam Fellow, and Ranger Andrew LaValle were doing a play-by-play from the Brooks Falls wildlife viewing platform.  At the 36:09 mark into the play-by-play 856 can be seen giving chase to 634 Popeye from the river below the falls, onto the bank in front of the viewing platform and then down towards the riffles.  

07.03

07.03.2018 - Mike Fitz and Ranger Russ Play by Play by Brenda D-0

That chase took 856 and 634 Popeye down near the Riffles wildlife viewing platform where they encountered 132 and her two spring cubs.  

(Note:  856 is seen returning up river closer to the falls at the 58:59 mark into the above play-by-play, 634 Popeye had returned earlier.) 

We later learned that 856 killed one of 132's spring cubs near the Riffles wildlife viewing platform. 

On July 4, 2018 at 06:20 Ranger Andrew popped into the bearcam comments to share the news of the July 3, 2018 incident :

"Hi everyone, last night near the Riffles we had a dramatic reminder that life as a bear can be difficult, dangerous, and short.

Bear 856 came upon what is thought to be bear 132 and her two spring cubs. Bear 856 attacked and killed one of the cubs. After an altercation with 856, bear 132 then left the scene wounded. Her remaining cub was abandoned in a tree above the carcass of its deceased sibling . It could be heard vocalizing and crying out to its separated mother.

The abandoned cub was later seen coming down from the tree, still vocalizing, and wandering around by itself. The whereabouts of both it and its mother are not known at this time.

Though it can be tough to witness, infanticide is a natural part of the bear world. Both genders may kill cubs, it is most often committed by male bears.

Mike Fitz and I will be doing a live chat later today on this topic at 9am Alaska time, 10am pacific. -Ranger Andrew"

2018.07.10:  856 fishing the lip of Brooks Falls video by Ratna:

856 lip fishing 7 10 18 by Ratna

856 lip fishing 7 10 18 by Ratna

2018.07.11 19:45:  856 and 32 Chunk displaying dominance while Ranger Andrew and Ranger Mike were doing a play-by-play video by Lani:

856 and 32 Chunk dominance displays during PBP 7 11 2018 appx 7 45pm AK by LaniH

856 and 32 Chunk dominance displays during PBP 7 11 2018 appx 7 45pm AK by LaniH

2018.07.22:  Video by Lani H of 856 being displaced from the jacuzzi by an unidentified boar (68 maybe?):

Unknown boar displaces 856 7 22 2018 by Lani H-0

Unknown boar displaces 856 7 22 2018 by Lani H-0

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.:

Brooks Falls Brown Bears Cam 07-22-2018 23 01 39 - 07-23-2018 00 01 40 Explore Recorder

Brooks Falls Brown Bears Cam 07-22-2018 23 01 39 - 07-23-2018 00 01 40 Explore Recorder

"Not often seen in 2018 -- 856 being displaced from the J:  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* subsequently displaces 856 from the J. (7/23/18)  

Brooks Falls Brown Bears Cam 07-22-2018 23 01 39 - 07-23-2018 00 01 40

Brooks Falls Brown Bears Cam 07-22-2018 23 01 39 - 07-23-2018 00 01 40

Note:  March 3, 2019 comment by Shel :  re: possibly 68* in this video with 856 and 747  "Some of us think the bear initially by the island in this video is 68. I suspect this bear was ID'ed by the bear monitor as 603 during the July monitoring session. 68 was not officially ID'ed by the bear monitor in July 2018 (but 603 was). 68 was officially ID'ed by the bear monitor in the 2018 fall session (but 603 wasn't).

Bears officially ID'ed by the bear monitor in 2018 from Katmai Ranger's comment link " 

September 2018:

Scooch captured this snapshot of 856 in September 2018 and added a Lou Holtz quote to go along with it when she shared her snapshot on 2019 856 bear-a-day day.:

"856 ~
Ability is what you're capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it."

​​2018.09.10:  747 (largest bear sitting in the far pool), 480 Otis (licking the rock in the far pool), 856 (is the bear that catches the fish), and 634 Popeye (in the office) video by Birgitt:
856 634 747 480 in Boar Alley 2018-09-10 22-45-08-730 by Birgitt-0

856 634 747 480 in Boar Alley 2018-09-10 22-45-08-730 by Birgitt-0

2018.09.12:  856's approach displaces 480 Otis and another bear in this video by mckate.:
12 Sep 2018 Run away! Run away! It's 856! by mckate

12 Sep 2018 Run away! Run away! It's 856! by mckate

2018.09.14:  856 and 503 Cubadult video by Martina:

2018-9-14 856 & 503 by Martina

2018-9-14 856 & 503 by Martina


2018.09.14 - 2018.09.17:  Park visitor and cam viewer, Ratna Narayan captured this photograph of 856 during her trip to Brooks Camp.  Ratna also captured this photograph of 747 (above the falls, left) with 856 (below the falls, right).: Ratna also captured these photographs (#1 , #2 & #3) of 747 (above the falls, left) with 856 (below the falls, right).  Ratna shared this photo of 856.:

Please request Ratna's permission prior to using her photographs!

Ratna also captured this photograph of 856 during her trip to Brooks Camp.  Scooch composed this to go along with Ratna's photo on 856 day held March 3, 2019.:


Please request Ratna's permission prior to using her photographs!

"Today we celebrate 856 ~
You better stay away from him
He'll rip your lungs out, Jim!

"I never give up.
I never give down.
I don't give side to side,
And I won't give around.

I never give up.
I never relent.
There's only one thing I give,
And that is 100 percent.""

2018.09.18:  Anna-Marie created this video of 856's interaction with 32 Chunk:

856 and 32 Chunk 9.18

856 and 32 Chunk 9.18.18 by Anna-Marie

Martina captured these snapshots of 856 and 32 Chunk:

2018.09.21:  747, 856 and 480 Otis have words in the far pool video by Birgitt:

747 856 & 480 Have Words in Far Pool 2018-09-21 22-00-53-211 by Birgitt

747 856 & 480 Have Words in Far Pool 2018-09-21 22-00-53-211 by Birgitt

2018.09.24:  856 video by mckate:

24 Sep 2018 Closeup of 856 by mckate

24 Sep 2018 Closeup of 856 by mckate

October 2018:

2018.10.08:   Birgitt captured these snapshots (#1 & #2 ) of 856.  Mike Fitz and Birgitt discussed 856 on Fat Tuesday, March 5, 2019 (snips of comments below).: Mike Fitz :  "856 goes to show that you don't have to spend all your time eating to get fat. At the falls at least, he spends considerable more time displacing other bears and competing for access to females than most other males. Yet, he still gets very fat. Of course, you can't get that big without being good at fishing." Birgitt:  "He was taking a break to chase 83 there. Do you have any sense of why he moved out of the J and to the far pool last year?" Mike Fitz :  "I don't know. He may have had a good reason, but I also suspect bears do things sometimes just because they want to, not because it gives them any sort of selective advantage. With that being said, fish may have been so plentiful last year that he didn't need as much access to the jacuzzi compared to other years. When there are fewer fish available, the j is one of the most consistently good fishing spots at the falls. When fish are super abundant though, it's not necessarily any more productive than several other places, including the far pool." Birgitt:  "I was thinking something similar about the abundance of salmon, because neither 856 nor 747 spent much time in the J last summer. In fact, most of the big boars lined themselves up on the far side of the river. I started thinking of it as Boar Alley back there. Which, of course, gave 503 a lot of time in the J and gave the youngsters 812, 903 and 719 a chance to explore fishing in the J.
But you're right. We should start thinking in terms of them doing things because they want to."

​​​

Another Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum moment for 856 (credit to Goldi for the scary giant reference) as he chases 83 then puts his nostrils to work.  Video by mckate :

8 Oct 2018 856 Chases 83 by mckate

8 Oct 2018 856 Chases 83 by mckate

2018.10.10:  856 displaces 68 snapshots by Shel (snapshot #1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9 , #10 , #11 , & #12 ) :

​​​​Most of the above (except for 68 returning to the J) is shown here (51:30 start):
Brooks Falls Brown Bears 10-10-2018 03 00 10 - 04 00 00

Brooks Falls Brown Bears 10-10-2018 03 00 10 - 04 00 00

2019:  Adult Male

June 2019:

2019.06.19:  On June 20, 2019 at 08:55 AKDT, Katmai Conservancy Ranger Naomi commented and shared photos (#1 634 Popeye , #2 128 Grazer , #3 128 Grazer on the lip , #4 856 ) of the bears observed at Brooks Falls on the evening of June 19, 2019.:

"The salmon have arrived and the bears have followed. Last night Mike Fitz, John Koster and I were at The Falls. Here are pictures of 634 Popeye, Grazer (sorry, no cubs), a sub and 856. When 856 strutted in, Grazer had already left having eaten 7 salmon. But Popeye took one look at 856 and ran up the far bank. 856 not satisfied with that, followed him up the bank. Dominance seems to be his priority. Once satisfied that Popeye was really gone, he returned to take his place in the jacuzzi. The season has begun. "

July 2019:

2019.07.02:  856 challenges 68(?) video by Birgitt:

856 Challenges 68 Upon His Arrival at the Falls 2019-07-02 14-42-06-397 by Birgitt-1

856 Challenges 68 Upon His Arrival at the Falls 2019-07-02 14-42-06-397 by Birgitt-1

Tzusrule shared these snapshot collages (#1 & #2 ):


2019.07.03:  The Bears of Brooks Falls series by Mike Fitz, Resident Naturalist with Explore.org ~ Meet Bear 856 video   

Only the biggest and most assertive bears have the opportunity to ascend to the top of the bear hierarchy.

Eight-five-six is a very large adult male with a uniformly brown coat and light-brown ears. In early summer, he has a noticeable stripe of thin fur running from his head to his back and numerous scars and wounds are visible on his head and neck. Behaviorally, he is quite bold and assertive toward other bears.

Meet Bear 856 - Bears of Brooks Falls by Mike Fitz, Resident Naturalist with Explore

Meet Bear 856 - Bears of Brooks Falls by Mike Fitz, Resident Naturalist with Explore.org-1

Traits of a Dominant Bear:

The following information is from Katmai Terrane blog:  Being Dominant by Ranger Michael Fitz :

Dominant male bears along the Brooks River gain many advantages over other bears. They can access the most preferred fishing spots when they choose, easily appropriate food from other bears, and have a higher likelihood of courting female bears and siring offspring. Gaining access to food allows bears to grow larger. Growing larger gives bears a greater chance to become reproductively successful.

856 is a mature and large adult male who is frequently seen at Brooks Falls. He has his pick of fishing spots and is unchallenged when courting females. He’s the most dominant bear seen along the Brooks River over the past few summers. But, how does a bear become dominant? What behavioral signs indicate a dominant bear?

Traits of a dominant bear:

  • Large: Dominant bears are typically the largest bears.
  • Male: The most dominant bears are adult males, most likely because males are 1/2 to 1/3 larger than females.
  • Assertive: Dominant bears have an assertive disposition, move in an apparently confident manner through the river, and often ignore competing bears.
  • Body and Ear Positioning: Dominant bears approach other bears with their head up and ears forward.

856 consistently demonstrates all of those physical characteristics and behaviors. In contrast, submissive or subordinate bears yield space and resources to 856 and bears like him. During an encounter, submissive bears also hold their head lower and position their ears back against their head. They are defensive and usually choose to avoid the approach of dominant bears.

Dominance simply means having power and influence over others . Dominant bears influence the movement and behavior of other nearby bears, and while they can’t command another bear to do anything they can use their size, strength, and power to force bears to yield or move away. 856 uses his size and disposition (he is more willing to assert himself around other bears) to gain access to the resources that he wants. Bears live in a competitive world where the biggest animals acquire and maintain greater access to the resources necessary to survive. In a bear’s world, being dominant is yet another way to win the game of life.

Fun Facts About 856:

  • In one notable moment in 2013, 274 Overflow managed to steal a fish from 856 when 856 bear confronted another male. Seeing that 856 had left his fish unattended, 274 swooped in, picked it up, and ran quickly down river before 856, the dominant boar turned around.
  • In July 2014, 856 spent considerable time courting females. Consequently, he was noticeably skinnier than #747 or #814 by the end of that month.
  • In July 2015, 775 Lefty, inexperienced at fishing Brooks Falls, challenged 856 for fish.  July 2015 was the first season that 775 Lefty was observed at Brooks Falls in July.  Before 2015, 775 only fished along the Brooks River in the fall.  Luckily for 775 Lefty, his inexperience with a dominant boar like 856 did not end badly.
  • 856 is often seen repeatedly licking his lips while he fishes and walks around Brooks Falls.  814 Lurch also shared this same behavior.

Known Courting & Mating:

2010:

402 Courting & Mating:

856 courted and mated with 402 in 2010.  See above July 2011 information in Life History section for additional information. Brooks Camp's July 9, 2010 tweet re: 856 mated with 402 on the evening of July 8, 2010.  402 also mated with 218 Ugly the same evening.:

2011:

94 Courting & Mating:

856 courted and mated with 94 in July 2011.

2012:

402 Courting & Mating:

402 and 856 courted and mated again in 2012.

744 Dent Courting:

July 6, 2012 video by endoplasmic1357.  856 can be observed courting 744 Dent at 4:20 into this 2012 video.

2013:

450 Courting & Mating:

In June 2013 856 was observed courting and mating with 450 .  Explore.org created this highlight video .Mike Fitz provided the ID of 450 on February 21, 2018.

2014:

402 Courting & Mating:

856 separated 402 from her yearling (503) in July 2014.  

On July 21, 2014, after a courtship lasting about 12 days, 856 mated with 402 near the falls.

708 Amelia Courting Late June / Early July 2014 & Mating July 14, 2014 :

856 was observed courting 708 Amelia the week prior to July 12, 2014.  An NPS photo by Ranger Michael Fitz appears in the July 15, 2014 Katmai Terrane blog: Being Dominant .  Ranger Jeanne commented on July 12, 2014 that 856 was courting 708 Amelia last week.:

856 was observed mating with 708 Amelia on July 14, 2014.  There was a video by Hermosa Paul on youTube, but youTube deleted it beacuse the words bear porn appeared in the title of the video. Mike Fitz did confirm the identification of the two bears in the video prior to it being deleted .

2015:

289 Courting & Possibly Mating:

856 was observed courting 289 during the 2015 season.  289's page of the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book, page 43 provides this information:

On July 12, 2015 at approximately 11:30 AKDT, 856 was observed mating with a bear that is believed to possibly be 289, video by MsDebbiB:

856 mating with unknown female (?289 maybe) July 12, 2015 video by MsDebbiB-0

856 mating with unknown female (?289 maybe) July 12, 2015 video by MsDebbiB-0

Later that same day (July 12, 2015) Martina captured this video of 856 continuing to court the same adult female, believed to also possibly be 289.:
Explore org Bearcams Brooks Falls 07-12-2015 856 courting who (? 289 maybe) video by Martina-0

Explore org Bearcams Brooks Falls 07-12-2015 856 courting who (? 289 maybe) video by Martina-0

410 Courting:

856 was observed courting 410 in June and July 2015. Volunteer in Park Anna-Marie AZ captured this video of 856 courting 410 during the 2015 season.

June 2015:

Explore.org created this June 2015 highlight video of 856 courting 410:

Bear 856 Pursues Female Bear 410 - Brooks Falls Alaska - Live Cam Highlight

Bear 856 Pursues Female Bear 410 - Brooks Falls Alaska - Live Cam Highlight

July 2015:

2015.07.??:  856 courting 410 photographs by Laura Lyn Photography:  Photo #1 , &  Photo #2  2015.07.01:  856 courting 410 Four-Ton video by Mso Belle:

Courting Pair in Lake Naknek July 1, 2015 by Mso Belle-2

Courting Pair in Lake Naknek July 1, 2015 by Mso Belle-2

2015.07.02:  856 courting 410 near lower river gif by IslandDunesGal .

2016:

289 Courting & Mating:

856 courted and mated with 289 in July 2016.

2018:

409 Courting:

856 was courting 409 Beadnose  June 6, 2018 and the few days prior per Mike Fitz' June 6, 2018 Explore.org blog: Brooks River Bear Mating Season :

"Over the past few days at Brooks River, one of the area’s most dominant bears, 856, has been incessantly following the adult female 409 Beadnose. 409, many bearcam viewers may remember, raised two yearling cubs last summer, and she was seen with them earlier this spring. Now however, we know she has emancipated her cubs and is once again single. 856, perhaps more than anyone, knows this as well, and his proximity to Beadnose reveals his amorous intentions."

On the morning of June 16, 2018, 856 was observed courting 409 Beadnose per Ranger Russ' June 16, 2018 10:35 comment :   "Good morning from Alaska. I'll be here the next half hour should you have any questions. Yes, we do expect to have the bearcams to be running and the Bear Book out by next week.

There were no bear sightings yesterday. This morning 856 was seen pursuing 409. I was not able to make a photograph, but it was confirmed by several people that they were the bears seen."

Known Relatives:

Add here

Genetics Study Samples Obtained:

2006:  Hair Sample Obtained by Ranger Tamara Olson, Wildlife Biologist

856 was successfully sampled in 2006 by former wildlife biologist Tamara Olson who obtained a hair sample. 

2016:  Attempted, Unsuccessful by Ranger Michael Saxton

Ranger Michael Saxton attempted to dart 856 in 2016, the attempt was unsuccessful.

2017:  None Known

There were no darting attempts, successful or unsuccessful, of 856 in 2017 by Ranger Michael Saxton.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.