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Brown Bear #402 – Spotted!

Last night brown bear #402 was spotted along the Lower River Bear Cam. As you might remember, last season she had three cubs with her, but only one made it to yearling age, which is quite common.

Michael Fitz, a Visual Information Specialist in Katmai, elaborated on the dangers cubs face: “Cubs in Katmai have a high mortality rate, especially in their first year. As many as 2/3 of cubs may not survive their first summer. As you can imagine, cubs face many risks in their young lives and while we do not know how #402 lost two of her three cubs it could be any number of natural risks: drowning, falling out of trees, undernourishment, getting lost or other bears. These are just some of the risks these young bears face.”

This year #402 appears to have one healthy cub with her waiting for salmon season to begin! The Lower River Cam is now in a summer “sneak peek” session! You can tune in live today and see the first footage of our brown bears in Katmai National Park. Later this summer, things will get well-underway when over 100 bears will join the river run looking for salmon before hibernation. For now, this peaceful spot is a favorite for mother brown bears and their cubs. Watch it here!

Check out the fan photos of Ms. 402 on Flickr here, and peruse the Katmai National Park e-books to help identify the bears.