868 Wayne Brother was also identified as bear 62 in the fall
Year First Identified: 2006 as a subadult, 2002 year of birth, 2008 adult male
Year Last Observed: 2015 (deceased on shore of Naknek Lakee October 24, 2015)
Known Offspring Of: 438 Flo 2002 litter
Genetics Study Samples Obtained: There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) by Ranger Michael Saxton in 2016 or 2017. 868 was deceased prior to this time.
868 Wayne Brother had a medium-sized body with a light brown or blond coat, and a grooved, medium length muzzle. His ears were wide-set, triangular, and very blond. When shedding, he had a distinct v-shaped patch around his tail area. In 2014, he had a large scar on the top of his left hip that is similar in size, shape, and location to 489 Ted;s diagnostic scar. In the fall, his coat was dark blond but he retained a blondish muzzle and ears.
868 Wayne Brother often fished on the lip of Brooks Falls, but also anywhere else he could find space. When 868 and 83 Wayne Brother fished Brooks Falls at the same time, 868 was certainly less dominant that his brother.
Life History: 2002 - October 24, 2015
2002: Spring Cub with 438 Flo, 83 Wayne Brother & Other Littermate
Two of the three of 438 Flo's 2002 spring cubs. One of these could be 868 Wayne Brother:
2003: Yearling with 438 Flo, 83 Wayne Brother & Other Littermate ?68.
868 Wayne Brother, a yearling, remained with 438 Flo and the family group .
Park visitor, Eric Jones captured these videos of 438 Flo and her yearlings (Wayne Brothers 868 and 83 are two of the three littermates):
An adult male bear follows the 438 family group. 438 rectifies the situation in this 2003 video by Eric Jones:
438 Flo with her three yearlings in this 2003 video by Eric Jones:
2003.07.06: It is believed that this photo by Randy Harris is 438 Flo with her three yearlings, if so, one of these cubs would be 868 Wayne Brother.
438 Flo with two of her three yearlings, 868 Wayne Brother and 83 Wayne Brother):
2004: 2.5 Year-Old Cub with 438 Flo, 83 Wayne Brother & Other Littermate
868 Wayne Brother, a 2.5 year-old cub, remained with 438 Flo and his siblings into the 3rd summer
438 Flo with her three 2.5 year-old cubs; 868 & 83 Wayne Brother are two of the three offspring:
2004.07.18: A 7/18/2004 photo by S. Liam Read appears to be 438 Flo with two of her three 2.5 year old cubs fishing on the lip. One of Flo's 2.5 year old cubs is believed to be 868 Wayne Brother.
2004.07.20: S. Liam Read captured a photo of 438 Flo's three 2.5 year old cubs on the lip on 7/20/2004. One of these cubs is 868 Wayne Brother.
2004.07.22: Silverfish 13 appears to have captured photos of 438 Flo and her three 2.5 year old cubs on 7/22/2004, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6. 83 Wayne Brother and 868 Wayne Brother are believed to be two of these cubs.
2005: 3.5 Year-Old Subadult Male
In 2005, 868 Wayne Brother is a 3.5 year-old subadult and successfully emancipated from 438 Flo.
2006: 4.5 Year-Old Subadult Male
868 Wayne Brother was first classified as an independent subadult in 2006.
2006.07.05: NPS photos :
2006.07.09: NPS photos :
2006.07.27: NPS photos :2006.07.30: NPS photos :
2007: 5.5 Year-Old
2007.06.29: NPS photos :
2007.07.01: NPS photos :
2007.07.04: NPS photos :
2007.07.14: NPS photos :
2007.07.19: NPS photos :
2008: 6.5 Year-Old
868 Wayne Brother was first classified as an adult male in 2008.
2008.06.27: NPS photos :
2008.06.28: NPS photos :
2008.07.30: NPS photos :
2009: 7.5 Year-Old Adult Male
2010: 8.5 Year-Old Adult Male
2010.06.28: NPS photos :
2010.07.01: NPS photos :
2010.07.03: NPS photos :
2010.07.04: NPS photos :
2010.07.11: NPS photos :
2011: 9.5 Year-Old Adult Male
2011.06.27: NPS photos :2011.06.29: NPS photos :
868 Wayne Brother NPS photos from the 2012 Bears of Brooks River iBook and KNP&P Flickr Galleries :
2011.07.04: NPS photos :2011.07.06: NPS photos : 2011.07.29: NPS photos :
2011.08.01: NPS photos :
2012: 10.5 Year-Old Adult Male
868 Wayne Brother was included in the 2012 Bears of Brooks River iBook :
2012.07.01: NPS photos :
2012.09.17: NPS photos :
2013: 11.5 Year-Old Adult Male
2013.07.??: 868 Wayne Brother in the wrong place at the wrong time as his presence prompts 402 to defend her cubs in this Explore video published on July 24, 2013.:
2013.09.03: NPS photos :
2013.09.06: NPS photos :
2014: 12.5 Year-Old Adult Male
868 Wayne Brother was included in the adult males section of the 2014 Bears of Brooks River book on page 29:
In 2014 868 Wayne Brother was observed participating in extended bouts of play with adult male 161.
2014.06.26: NPS photos :
2014.07.??: 868 Wayne Brother close-up in this video by laddnshirl:
2014.07.03: 868 Wayne Brother unsuccessfully fishing the lip in this video by WatchNBears:
2014.07.11: NPS photos2014.07.17: NPS photos
Ranger Jeanne's flickr album "Three-way playfight" with 868 Wayne Brother, 83 Wayne Brother and 68.
On October 4, 2014, Mike Fitz witnessed "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" His "best explanation: They were well fed and the mood was right."
"Here is part of the conclusion between 868 Wayne Brother and 68" video by Mike Fitz:
2014.10.20: 868 Wayne Brother and possibly 68 video by JoeBear:
2015: 13.5 Year-Old Adult Male, Deceased October 24, 2015, Last Year Observed
868 Wayne Brother was included in the 2015 Bears of Brooks River book in the adult males section on page 69.
2015.07.??: (July 8, 2015 or prior)
868 Wayne Brother in the riffles video by Mso Belle:
2015.07.??: (July 27, 2015 or prior):
Beginning at 3:51 intp this video by enapic 868 Wayne Brother and 409 Beadnose can be seen playing musical fishing spot with their favorite location to fish the lip:
2015.07.??: (July 31, 2015 or prior):
868 Wayne Brother fishing the lip with 409 Beadnose video by Jozef Bienkowski:
2015.07.01: Mike Fitz flickr photo of 868 Wayne Brother in far pool.
2015.07.02: Park visitor Nancy Leszczynski captured this video of 868 fWayne Brother fishing the lip of Brooks Falls.:
Nancy Leszczynski also captured this video of 868 Wayne Brother fishing on the lip of Brooks Falls, he had a near miss and then a successful catch.:
2015.07.10: 409 Beadnose and 868 Wayne Brother negotiate rights to a spot fishing the lip video by Martina:
Mike Fitz flickr photo of 868 Wayne Brother on lip with fish in mouth.
868 Wayne Brother mating with 289 video by Explore:
2015.07.28: Mike Fitz flickr photo of 128 Grazer (left), 409 Beadnose, 868 Wayne Brother, and 505 (top right).
2015.10.10: 868 Wayne Brother fishing the lower river near the corner in the beginning of this video by Margaret Saint Clair:
868 Wayne Brother sauntering along Spit Road video by Mickey Williams:868 Wayne Brother enters the lower Brooks River video by Mickey Williams:
A mysterious "blob" appears on the spit near the boat sometime between 15:00 and 15:19.:
On October 24, 2015 at 15:19, cam viewer Merry Mermaid captured this snapshot of the "blob" on the spit with another large bear walking near the boat cove:
We later learned that 868 Wayne Brother died on the shore of Naknek Lake at the outlet of Brooks River. Wildlife technicians Ranger Leslie Skora and Ranger Michael Saxton collected organ and tissue samples and performed a basic field necropsy. No signs of trauma were found during the necropsy. Tissue samples were too badly decomposed for the lab to analyze. Please see details below.
12:59: 435 Holly with her biological yearling and 2.5 year-old adopted cub 503 approach 868's remains but turn around and go back the way they originally came from (back towards the mouth of the Brooks River.:
14:29: Joan Hersh's October 25, 2015 14:29 snapshot of 94 and her cubs near 868's remains on the spit:
14:56: Samantha Eye's October 25, 2015 14:56 snapshot of 868 near the boat on the spit:
This video by Margaret Saint Clair shows the adult male bear that got close to 868 Wayne Brother after he was deceased (at 02:27 - 04:46 of the video):
Margaret Saint Clair also captured these snapshots between 15:09 and 15:11 on October 25, 2015:
This Explore Recorder video shows 435 Holly, her biological yearling (now 719), and her adopted 2.5 year-old male cub, 503 Cubadult approaching the area near 868's remains with caution and then the family group turning back to head back down the spit away from 868.:
The large brown object (aka "blob") on the spit is determined to be an adult male bear. Video by JoeBear:
Ranger Leslie Skora, Ranger Michael Saxton and Ranger Bob Peterson returned to Brooks Camp to perform a field necropsy of 868 Wayne Brother. Ranger Leslie Skora captured these photos :
The following samples were obtained from 868 Wayne Brother: the head, heart, lungs, liver, small intestine contents, blood, abdominal cavity contents and hair were collected from the bear. These were sent to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the NWHC with additional samples going to the USGS Alaska Science Center.
After biologists from Katmai National Park and Preserve performed the field necropsy on 868, his remains were left where he had collapsed and died.
Measurements for 868 were not taken, but biologists estimated that he weighed 800-900 pounds (362-408 kg).
What information might be gained from examining 868 Wayne Brother's field necropsy samples?:
If 868's death represented a new disease outbreak, then the examination could also provide important and timely information for wildlife managers across Alaska. By examining the bears, researchers also have the opportunity to:
- Test for rabies and canine distemper. Since rabies can infect humans, it receives a high priority for testing.
- Test tissues for the presence of heavy metals like lead, human made chemicals like propylene glycol (antifreeze), and natural toxins like saxitoxin (the principle chemical that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning).
- Identify and document the presence of parasites like sarcocystis, toxoplasma, nematodes, and trichinella.
What killed 868 Wayne Brother?:
868’s cause of death is undetermined. No signs of outward trauma were visible on 868, except for a broken nose (the nose could’ve have been broken when he collapsed to the ground). 10-12 gallons of fluid were present in his abdominal cavity, which is not a normal finding. Initial laboratory analysis was performed by the Wildlife Health and Disease Surveillance Program, Division of Wildlife, Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Tissue samples from the bear were then forwarded from ADF&G and USGS Alaska Science Center on to the USGS NHWC for diagnostic analysis. He tested negative for CAV-1, so it appears that his death is unrelated to the cub’s (451's female spring cub that died near the lower river wildlife viewing platform). 868 also tested negative for canine distemper virus. No parasites were observed in the tongue or abdominal cavity fluid. However, samples from 868 were decomposing rapidly by the time they reached the lab for analysis which may prevent us from ever knowing his cause of death.
2015.10.29: Ranger Roy's October 29, 2015 10:56 comment:
"The gross necropsy of 451’s cub was completed yesterday. The only lab result that has returned is the rabies test, which was negative. The rest of the report is a description of what the pathologist observed, weight (29.7kg, 65.5lbs) , length (94cm, 37”), etc. As we said in our chat, it will take some time for the remaining lab results to return, so be patient. At some point we will share a more complete interpretation of the cub’s condition, and if it can be determined, the cause of death.
Regarding the mystery lump on the spit: When Michael, Leslie, and Bob arrived yesterday afternoon they found that it was, indeed, an adult male bear. As it was too large for them to move, they collected samples for the state and for the DOI Lab in Wisconsin. Leslie will need some time to identify the bear, but it was not Otis or Lurch (easy to ID them). There was no obvious cause of death. All three biologists are away on other aspects of their jobs today, so I don’t have any further information.
I know that, for many of you, this will be devastating news. It is important to keep in mind that were it not for the cams no one would even know about these deaths. By the time staff would have returned in the spring, scavengers and decay would have removed most signs of these animals. Sure, there may have been a few bones or bone fragments, or some hair, but that would have been the extent of our knowledge. What we have been given is the chance to learn not only more about the how these animals lived, but also how they died. That is a rare opportunity that should help soften the blow of this latest news.
I want to thank all of you for reporting the appearance of the mystery lump. Without your careful observation, we would have never known of it. I have said it before, but it “bears” repeating: You are an amazing, dedicated community of stewards, and you are contributing to a better understanding of the bears of Katmai. Thank you all."
Ranger Roy's October 29, 2015 17:03 comment:Ranger Roy's October 29, 2015
2015.11.05: KNP&P employee David Woodcock captured these photos of 868 Wayne Brother's remains / the cache with anther large male in close proximity.:
KNP&P employee David Woodcock captured these photos of 868 Wayne Brother's remains / the cache:
2015.11.06: KNP&P employee David Woodcock captured these photos of 868 Wayne Brother's remains / the cache:
2015.11.11: Anchorage Daily News article about the deaths of 868 Wayne Brother and 451's cub:
2015.11.13: Ranger Roy Wood, Ranger Leslie Skora, and Ranger Michael Saxton discuss the death of 868 Wayne Brother in this live chat video by Explore:Resource Link: Ranger Michael Saxton mentions this in the live chat above:
Live Outdoors article about the deaths of 868 Wayne Brother and 451's cub:
2015.11.14: Ranger Roy commented at 17:01:
"“We made it to Dumpling today, but a critical piece of equipment was frozen. The message on the eFoy: "Please defrost for at least 24 hours at room temperature" It was 8 degrees F up there. The eFoy provides backup power when the solar panels don't make enough power, which they don't when they are covered in ice.
Sorry to say that the cams will remain down while Explore determines what to do next.
We flew over Brooks on the way home and saw no bears, only bear tracks in the snow. We also saw no bears or bear dens on Dumpling. 868's remains were not visible (from the plane), either"
2015.11.20: Anchorage Daily News article:
2015.11.23: Recents Bear Deaths at Brooks River Katmai Terrane blog by Ranger Mike Fitz and Ranger Jeanne Roy.
2016: Deceased October 24, 2015, No Longer Seen
Sadly 868 Wayne Brother was moved to the bears no longer seen section of the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book on page 103. 868 was an enjoyable bear to watch, especially his relatively peaceful co-existent behaviors, for example when he would yield space on the lip to 409 Beadnose as opposed to using his ability to dominate over her for that jointly preferred fishing spot. 868 is a bear that will be missed by many who had the pleasure of observing and learning from him. 868 Wayne Brother's skull was collected during the October 28, 2015 field necropsy for future educational use, so 868 will continue to teach park visitors and others about brown bears in the future.
Page 25 of the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book also contains information about 868 Wayne Brother's death:
Known Courting & Mating:
868 Wayne Brother copulating with 94 on July 21, 2013 NPS photo by Ranger Jeanne from KNP&P Flickr Galleries:
868 Wayne Brother mating with 289 July 13, 2015 highlight video by Explore:
Mother: 438 Flo (Speculated)
868 Wayne Brother is believed to be the 2002 offspring of 438 Flo. 438 had a litter of 3 spring cubs in 2002.
Father: Not Known
Littermates: 83 Wayne Brother (Speculated) & Possibly 68 (Speculated)
83 Wayne Brother is believed to be 868's littermate from 438 Flo's 2002 litter.
Mike Fitz' January 20, 2020 09:24 comment that includes some information about 868 Wayne Brother and 83 Wayne Brother interacting as adult males.:
There is speculation or wonder that 68 may possibly be the remaining of the 3 "Wayne Brother". Without DNA, there is no evidence to support this theory.
Other Maternal Siblings: 274 Overflow (Speculated)
274 Overflow is believed to be the offspring of 438 Flo from her 2007 litter of 3 spring cubs.
Offspring: None Known
Genetics Study Samples Obtained:
868 Wayne brother died October 24, 2015. Ranger Michael Saxton's darting was done at Brooks Camp beginning in 2016. We have not been able to confirm with Ranger Saxton or other KNP&P staff if DNA was obtained from 868's remains for genetics study purpoese during the field necropsy.
A special thank you to KCanada for the NPS photos from the 2012 Brown Bears of Brooks Camp iBook.