Year First Identified: 2018 in July (but could possibly be 253 ~ see below)
Known Offspring Of: If this is 253, he is believed to be the offspring of 477 Sara. 477 Sara was successfully sampled in 2005 and 2006 by KNP&P Wildlife Biologist Tamara Olson so if DNA is obtained from 911 the answer to "Is 911 also 253?" could be discovered.
Genetics Study Samples Obtained: There are no known genetics study samples obtained from 911 at this time.
Sometime during the 2018 season, park visitor samkindle captured this video during a visit to Brooks Camp. 911 "Split Nose" can be see on the lip of the falls at 1:08 into the video and again at 5:36 into the video:
Other 2018 videos by park visitors that 911 "Spilt Nose" can be seen are can be found at the following links:
Video #1 (911 "Split Nose" near, 775 Lefty far)
Video #2 (911 "Split Nose" near, 775 Lefty far)
Video #3 (911 "Split Nose" near, 775 Lefty far)
Park visitor Scott Heidorn captured this photo of 911 "Split Nose" in 2018.
911 "Split Nose" was initially classified and assigned the number 911 in July 2018 after being observed three times during official bear monitoring sessions. There is speculation by current and former KNP&P staff that 911 could possibly be bear 253, one of three 2008 offspring of 477 Sara . 477 Sara was successfuly sampled by former KNP&P Wildlife Biologist, Tamara Olson in 2005 and 2006. If genetics study samples are obtained from 911 in 2018 or after the answer to the question of relation to 477 Sara could be answered.
2018.07.07: On 7/7/2018 bear 911 was observed frantically chasing a salmon boil at Brooks Falls. He was filmed by Katmai National Park volunteer Maurice Whalen who confirmed the date. In the first video, 911 is seen in the jacuzzi area (0:08-0:30 and 0:51-2:21) using the dash and grab technique. Often times he is trying to catch fish when he already has one in his mouth.
The second video by Maurice Whalen appears to be from the riffles area. 911 continues his dash and grab technique which expends a great deal of energy and burns much needed calories.
2018.07.10 : Mike Fitz, 2018 Explore Bearcam Fellow & former KNP&P Ranger captured this photo of 911 on July 13, 2018 at 08:57 . Taylor Thomas Albright captured this photo of 911 and confirmed it was taken on 7/10/2018. Park visitor Deja also posted an Instagram photo of 911 that was likely taken in July but posted on 8/7/2018. 911 was seen on the cams only in July as well as by official monitoring in July.2018.07.11: Shel shared these snapshots (#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 & #6 ) of 911.:
Explore Recorder video from July 11, 2018. Footage of 911 begins at 4:00 into the video .:
2018.07.13 08:57: On July 13, 2018 at 08:57 Mike Fitz , 2018 Explore Bearcam Fellow & former KNP&P Ranger shared this comment on the dedicated chat (comment & live chats) comment board to begin the comment chat that day.:
".....You can begin by post your first questions below. Sometimes the volume of questions can be high, especially at the beginning of the chat, but we’ll do our best to answer them. Thanks for joining us today.
I’ll start the conversation with this note:
Over the two weeks, many mature adult males have fished Brooks Falls. Most of these bears are known from previous years, but several new or currently unrecognized mature adult males have arrived. Below I’d like to highlight just one of these bears and offer my opinion on whether it has used Brooks River before.
Based on his size and scars alone we can accurately assume that he’s a mature adult, one who has survived many years of competition with other bears. Upon close inspection of his face, rangers noticed this bear has peculiar looking nostrils. The nostrils appear to have been injured and healed.
Last year, I wrote about bears with injured noses , and highlighted one bear who was seen in 2010 ad 2011 with an obvious nose injury. This was bear 253 in 2010 , a subadult at the time. This 9/20/2010 photo taken by DPDeming appears to be subadult 253.
253 was classified as a 2.5 year-old subadult in 2010 and bear monitors at the time thought he might be the offspring of 477 Sara. The pattern of scars on this bear’s nose closely, but not exactly, matches the injury observed on 253. A comparison between photos of 253 and the adult male with the old nostril injury suggests that 253 *could be* the “new” adult male at Brooks River and the nose injury has healed since 2011. However, the scars on the nose doesn’t exactly line up with the wounds in 253. This could mean:
1. They are two different bears, or
2. The scars could be in a different place because 253’s skull has grown since the 2010 photos.
Right now, I’m leaning toward option 1 as a more likely possibility since 253’s nose wound hadn’t fully healed by the fall of 2011. This makes me wonder, if it hadn’t healed after a year, then would have healed as fully as we see on this adult male?
It’s worth pondering though: If this is 253, then where has he been all these years?
We don’t know. The healed injury is obvious enough that I believe rangers and other staff would have noticed it if this bear had been using the river between 2012 and 2017. Perhaps 253 has always used Brooks River, but in the past he chose to visit during hours and seasons when people were not active or numerous. As Leslie Skora, Katmai’s wildlife biologist explained during yesterday’s live chat, the bear monitoring program at Brooks River covers the river thoroughly. This leads me to believe 253 chose not to use it when salmon are accessible. He was simply surviving elsewhere.
I think it’s likely that the bear monitoring staff will assign a new number for this adult male. Even though there is tantalizing evidence he could be 253, I’m not sure the evidence is conclusive enough. However, even the possibility of 253’s return after several years away is exciting. At Brooks River, we see only a small subset of Katmai National Park’s bears. The last population survey estimated about 2,200 bears live within the park and preserve. No matter how much we watch the bearcams, there will always be an air of mystery surrounding the bears’ whereabouts and behavior."
2018.10.25: Ranger Tammy Carmack confirmed that 911 was observed 3 times during official bear monitoring sessions in July 2018. Tammy shared that 911 is believed to be a 10 year old adult male. Tammy says that there is speculation that 911 could possibly be 253, one of three 2018 offspring of 477 Sara but states that there is no way to be 100% certain without DNA confirmation therefore, Tammy Carmack assigned this adult male with bear monitoring number 911.
2018.10.26: Ranger Russ Taylor commented at 10:35 with The New Bears List. 911 was included on that list:
2018.11.09: Ranger Russ Taylor commented at 13:25 with the bear totals for Brooks River 2018. 911 was observed 3 or more times during July 2018 official bear monitoring sessions, but was not observed 3 or more times during fall 2018 official bear monitoring sessions.:
"Straight from the keyboard of our bear biologist.
Here are the bear totals for Brooks River 2018.
July: 52 independent bears
32, 39, 83, 89, 94+3coy, 28, 132+1coy, 151, 171, 261, 274, 284, 402+4coy, 409, 435+2yrlg, 451+3yrlg, 477, 480, 503, 504, 603, 610, 634, 708, 717, 719, 747, 755, 775, 801, 803, 806, 807, 811, 812, 820, 821, 831, 854, 856, 900, 901, 902, 903, 904, 905, 906, 907, 908, 909, 910, 911
Fall: 45 independent bears
32, 68, 83, 94+3coy, 115, 132+1coy, 171, 261, 273, 284, 402+4coy, 409, 435+2yrlg, 451+3yrlg, 480, 482+3coy, 503, 504, 602, 610, 708, 717, 719, 720, 806, 811, 812, 813+2coy, 820, 821, 831, 854, 879, 901, 902, 903, 904, 905, 906, 907, 908, 909, 910, 912, 913"
If 911 is 253:
Mother: 477 Sara , Speculated
If 911 is 253, he is believed to be the offspring of 477 Sara. 477 Sara was successfully sampled in 2005 and 2006 by KNP&P Wildlife Biologist Tamara Olson so if DNA is obtained from 911 the answer to "Is 911 also 253?" could be discovered.
Littermates: 251 & 261 , Speculated
If 911 is 253, then 251 and 261 are 911's (253) suspected littermates..
Genetics Study Samples Obtained:
2018: Awaiting Information from Rangers
We are awaiting information from the rangers on genetcs study samples obtained in 2018 by Ranger Michael Saxton.