Year First Identified: 2007 as a subadult
Known Offspring Of: Not known at this time
Darting Attempts: There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) in 2016 or 2017 by Ranger Michael Saxton for the genetics study.
68 is large bodied with a light brown coat in the summer that shows distinctive scars on his left shoulder and right side of his muzzle. His face sheds out dark, and his ears are widely spaced. In the fall, 68 has light eye rings and sports a dark brown coat with slightly blond tipped ears.
This bear has been seen at Brooks River every year since 2007, though most years he was only observed in the fall. 68 was seen at Brooks River in July 2013 and again in July 2016. In July 2016, he regularly fished at the falls and often ate his catch on the boulder in the far pool.
Bear 68 is an adult male bear who's identity became a source of mystery during the 2015 bear season when a close up video of him in the Lower River section of Brooks River made him an internet star on September 20, 2015. Bear 68 was then dubbed "Rie's Bear" for the rest of the fall season until his true identity as Bear 68 was revealed with the release of the 2016 Bears of Brooks River bear book.
In the 2016 season, his identity again became a source of great mystery as he was initially mis-identified as Bear 274 Overflow. It was subsequently discovered that this bear was indeed a different bear than #274 and he was then dubbed "Not274" until Ranger Leslie Skora, Katmai's current wildlife biologist and at the time, Katmai's bear monitor, confirmed that the bear known as "Not274" and Bear 68 were indeed the same bear.
68 was first identified as a subadult in 2007.
In September 2011, 68 suffered through a large wound on his lower right leg. At the end of the month, he had trouble moving that leg and appeared to be dragging it. However, he appears to have made a full recovery and has even grown in size. His history is another example of toughness and resiliency ~ a hallmark of brown bears.
68 was observed in July 2013.
68 was observed in Fall 2013.
68 was only observed in Fall 2014.
2014.10.04: 68, though it was unknown at the time, was later discovered to be the "unknown male" play fighting in the "Three-way play flight" album posted by Ranger Jeanne with Bear 83 and 868 in the Lower River on October 4, 2014.
Ranger Jeanne's flickr album of 68 playing with the Wayne Brothers 83 & 868.
On February 21, 2018 (68's "2018 bear-a-day" day on bearcam comments), Mike Fitz popped into the comments and shared the following videos in this comment :
"In 2014, I witness 83, 68, and 868 play-fighting in the lower river, even all of them at the same time. Play-fights are usually one-on-one affairs, so it was unusual to see the three of them playing. My best explanation: They were well fed and the mood was right." (Mike's 1st video link):
"Here's part of the conclusion between 868 and 68." (Mike's 2nd video link):
2014.10.24: Could this be 68 napping in this video by Tzz Oha?:
68 was only observed in Fall 2015:
2015.09.20: 68 is a bear that was relatively unknown to cam viewers until today when he became the ROCK STAR!
68 video by JoeBear:
68 video by Victoria White:
68 video by Explore:On March 28, 2016, Ranger Mike commented providing the identification of the bear observed on September 20, 2015 as bear 68:
"Remember this? (providing the September 20, 2015 Explore highlights video above)
At the time, I didn’t know the ID of the bear or if it even had one, but now I do. He’s #68, an adult male. Here’s a sneak peek at his profile in the next edition of the Bears of Brooks River ebook.
Year First Identified: Subadult in 2007
#68 is large bodied with a dark coat. His fur sometimes has lighter highlights around his face and neck. He also has light-tipped, oval ears and lighter circles around his eyes.
Not much is known about this bear. Although he has been seen at Brooks River every year since 2007, he often goes unnoticed. This bear has been documented on Brooks River in July just once in 2013. Most often he is only seen in the fall.
In September 2011, he suffered through a large wound on his lower right leg. At the end of the month, he had trouble moving that leg and appeared to be dragging. However, he appears to have made a full recovery and has even grown in size. His history is another example of toughness and resiliency—a hallmark of bears."
2015.10.08: Explore Recorder video of 68 close-up:
68 was included in the 2016 Bears of Brooks River book on page 62.
68 in 2016 video of snapshots by GreenRiver:
68 was observed during official bear monitoring session by the KNP&P bear monitor. The July 2016 photos of 68 included in the 2017 Bears of Brooks River book (page 66) have sparked much debate regarding if the bear in the July 2016 NPS photos is in fact 68 or is the bear in those July 2017 really 603 ? What are your thoughts?
2016.08.30: 68 and 151 Walker video by Brenda D:
Cam viewer and park visitor Larinor was at Brooks Camp on 09/16/2016 ~ need to see if she is willing to have her photos of 68 from that day shared here.
Approximately 10:40 into this Explore Recorder video there is great close-up footage of 68 and 879 (note: times listed are Pacific Time not Alaska Time):
2016.09.24: 68 in the office video by Ratna:
68 and 151 Walker video by Ratna:
2016.09.26: Ranger Leslie Skora (2016 KNP&P bear monitor) discusses 68 in the September 26, 2016 live chat. Ranger Leslie's opinion is that 68 is the bear that cam viewers have been referring to as "mystery bear" / "Not274".
(NEED LINK TO 2016.09.26 LIVE CHAT)
2016.10.01: 68 and 480 Ortis negotiate rights to earning a living in the "office". 480 Otis eventually plays the seniority card. 151 Walker approaches 480 Otis from the far pool. Video by Ratna:
2016.10.18: 68 in the far pool video by Ratna:
2016.10.25: Ranger Leslie Skora (2016 KNP&P bear monitor) discusses 68 at 25:50 into this live chat :
68 was included in the 2017 Bears of Brooks River book on page 66.
2017.08.21: 68 and 32 Chunk video by Brenda D:
2017.08.22: 68 and 719 interaction:68 and 719 interaction video by Ratna:
"Longish head, thick neck, curved light-tipped ears and then hump, slump, rump profile."
68 in 2017 video of snapshots by GreenRiver:
19:49: 68 gets "grazered" by 128 Grazer video by Flyer 7474 (SteveCA):
09:09: 68 gets "grazered" by 128 Grazer video by Flyer 7474 (SteveCA):
68 gets "grazered" by 128 Grazer video by Ratna:68 blowing bubbles video by Ratna
2017.09.07: Explore video of 68 blowing bubbles:
2017.09.08: 32 Chunk, 480 Otis, 68 and 83 Wayne Brother at the falls video by Ratna:
During a play-by-play with Ranger Becca (providing commentary of the bear activity on the Brooks River) and Ranger David Kopshever (performing parabolic microphone operation) bear 474 and 32 Chunk have an altercation. 68 was in close proximity to the interaction between 474 and 32. Brenda D recorded this video of the play-by-play.
Ratna's video that focuses more on the time period just prior to and during the 474 / 32 altercation with 68 in close proximity:
Park visitors and cam viewers, Cheri and Dale were on the Brooks Falls wildlife viewing platform during the play-by-play and shared their experience in this blog with photos of 68 during the 474 / 32 altercation.
2017.10.01: 68 video by birdnerd57:2017.10.02: 68 video by Susan Tunstall:
2017.10.03: 68 in the jacuzzi video by Brenda D:
2017.10.06: 68 video by Ratna:
Known Courting & Mating:
There are no known relatives for 68 at this time. However, the conversation about 68 possibly being the 3rd Wayne Brother (83 and 868 being the two known Wayne Brothers) has often come up. On February 21, 2018, GreenRiver asked Mike Fitz his thoughts on that 68 possible Wayne Brother topic. Here were Mike's thoughts:
"I've wondered about that, but I wasn't able to find anything in the bear monitoring notes hinting at that when I worked for the park. His size and age would match both 868's and 83's, but a lot of cubs were getting emancipated in 2006 and 2007. Without any DNA evidence or really good photos of the Waynes, then I'll have to say there's a chance but nothing can prove it conclusively."
There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) in 2016 or 2017 by Ranger Michael Saxton for the genetics study.
NEED TO MOVE THIS INFORMATION TO APPROPRIATE SECTIONS ABOVE: