legendary bears

Our Top Picks for Legendary Bears

While a lot of bears have their moments, some end up being seen as legendary bears. What makes these bears special? Is it their appearance, their heroism, their actions, or a little bit of everything? Like humans, some bears are just special and stick in our memory more than others. Here are our top picks for some amazing legendary bears that we can’t forget about.

The Boss

Bear 122, also known as “The Boss” is one of the toughest bears in Banff National Park. This grizzly bear loves to use the railway to travel since the ice melts sooner there. Even when he got struck by a train, this massive 1,000+ pound bear walked away undeterred and continued to use the railway for traveling. Not only is he a survivor of a train crash, he alone populated 70% of the offspring in Banff National Park. Even when this legend is no longer with us, his offspring will continue to live on. But don’t go chasing this bear or looking to get a picture. He is also known for devouring a 45-pound black bear, leaving only the skull and bones.

Bear 399

Grizzly bear 399 is another famous and well-recognized bear. She is known as the “Grandma” bear for giving birth to over 18 cubs. She is also one of the oldest female grizzlies to be living in the park and still producing cubs. Last year, Grandma was seen with another cub at Grand Teton National Park. At 27, this bear is a true legend, not only because of her age but for helping the grizzly population grow. She has around two dozen descendants in her bloodline. How many of us can say that?

Bart the Bear

It’s not every day that you think of a grizzly bear as an actor but some are just born to play the role. Bart the Bear was born on January 19, 1977, at the Baltimore Zoo. He was adopted and trained by Doug and Lynne Seus and went on to become a famous bear. Bart started his career as a cub in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. In his 23 years of life, he was in over 30 movies and television shows. He worked with actors such as Brad Pitt, Annette Bening, Anthony Hopkins, and Ethan Hawke. After having two surgeries to remove cancer from his right paw, the cancer returned. The once strong and massive 1,500-pound bear grew weak and was eventually euthanized and buried on the Sues ranch. How many bears can say that they worked with famous people and presented an envelope at the 70th Academy Awards? Not many at all.

Bear 609

When it comes to stubborn bears, Bear 609 takes the cake. This female black bear was a nuisance to many people, stealing their backpacks and food for years. After being trapped and tagged, and driven 1,000 miles away, she walked her way back to the same campground. Even getting hit by a car did not stop this bear from coming back home, four states away. Her determination and strength make her part of the bear legends on our list.

Bear 480

Bear 480 is one of Katmai National Park’s beloved grizzly bears. This bear is also known as Otis and has won Fat Bear Week numerous times. Even with only 2 teeth left, this 27-year-old manages to eat an abundant amount of salmon and show the other bears his still a contender. While he did not win last year, he is always a fan favorite and usually on the finalist list. Who knows, maybe this year he will emerge and reclaim his title for the 5th time!

Not all legends wear capes or live in history books but these legendary bears will live on in our hearts. Their determination, strength and willpower makes them legendary in our books.

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