Photo credit: taken by Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, MT.
The storied life of Sow 101: Grizzly bear (GB) 101 was captured seven times (three management captures) during the 20 years she spent in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). She lived the majority of her life in the western section of the Yellowstone National Park, in close proximity to human recreation areas and the urbanized town of West Yellowstone, MT. First collared in 1983, after a management capture in Big Springs, ID, GB 101 was soon transported to Antelope Creek, YNP. However, it wouldn’t be long before she would find her way back to the western section of the park. In 1986, GB 101 was again captured at Richard’s Pond in YNP (research purposes) (~60km from Antelope Creek, YNP). This was the general area where GB 101 spent a good majority of her life. However, in 1994, while supporting two yearlings, GB 101 was captured at Rainbow Point, MT and removed to Buffalo Plateau in the Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) for obtaining human foods and causing property damage.
Unfortunately, she would prove to be a pure testament of how ineffective relocation can be. GB 101 again made her way back to Rainbow Point, MT, almost 130 km away from the area she was relocated to in 1994 (8-years prior). On August 31, 2002, after 20 years in the GYE, she was captured (management) for obtaining human foods with the presence of two cubs, and permanently removed and relocated to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, MT.
Since 2002, GB 101 has spent 16 years in captivity, now 36 years old. Grizzlies in the wild of YNP can reach ages up to 30 years old, however not extremely common. The oldest documented grizzly in YNP was 31 years old. In captivity, these bears can sometimes surpass the age of 30, approaching close to 40 years old in some cases. This is truly representative of the exceptional, great care they receive at facilities such as the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center of West Yellowstone, MT.
A special thank you to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center of West Yellowstone, MT for providing phenomenal care and a great home to Sow 101 for the past 16 years!
For more information on bears, wolves at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, or if you wish to donate, please visit their website:
Tyler Brasington is a native born and raised Pennsylvanian, yet proud current Wisconsin resident. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a B.S. in Environmental Science. Currently, Tyler is pursuing his masters in Natural Resources with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He has worked in Yellowstone National Park under the guidance and supervision of Dr. George Clokey and Dr. Jim Halfpenny.
Disclaimer: The information and views expressed on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Interior, US Geological Survey, National Park Service or the United States Government.
The Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Project
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