Just last month, at long last, a well-known female grizzly bear named No. 399 emerged from her long hibernation at Grand Teton National Park. Walking beside her was a single, blond-faced cub, named Snowy by local bear watchers.
This was a big deal for a couple of reasons. First, she was alive, which proved the Wyoming hunter who had boasted of killing her months before had been bluffing. Second, this 20-year-old grizzly is, as a columnist for the Jackson Hole News and Guide put it, “the most famous living wild bear on Earth.” She is an adored “roadside bear” who’s super easy for tourists to spot, and even has a book and a Twitter account dedicated to her. Even a hiker mauled by her and her cubs back in 2007 pleaded for her life to be spared.
But sadly Snowy was just killed by a car who did not report the collision.
In a statement, the park said that the cub was one of two bears killed in one night by drivers who did not report the collisions. An adult female black bear was fatally struck on the same road a few hours before 399’s cub, bringing the total number of Grand Teton animals killed by cars this year to 37.
“These unfortunate incidents are an important reminder for all of us to slow down and be vigilant when we travel through the park,” said Superintendent David Vela.
The mother bear had dragged Snowy’s carcass to the side of the road, about 40 yards from the road. The park said its biologists found the carcass and removed the body, which the park said will be “preserved and used for educational purposes.”