Year First Identified: 2006 as spring cub, 2008 as independent subadult
Offspring Of: 435 Holly
Darting Attempts: There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) of 89 Backpack by Ranger Michael Saxton in 2016 or 2017.
89 Backpack is a medium sized young adult bear. He has a distinctive face with dark, round eye-rings and a straight muzzle. His coat is usually very blonde, but it does go to a darker blonde or brown in the fall. 89 is one of the falls well known bears his mother is 435 Holly and 89 Backpack was born in 2006. He was first observed as an independent bear in 2008.
89 Backpack is the 2006 offspring of 435 Holly, her 1st known litter.
Please request CathieL's permission prior to using her photos!
As a yearling in 2007 89 Backpack injured his right front leg and limped noticeably, 435 (Holly) would wait for him to catch up as they walked. 89 Backpack and 435 Holly can be seen at 1:22 into this video by GrizBear44
By the fall of 2007 his leg was healed and the leg did not seem injured in 2008. Just shows how resilient bears are.
On September 30, 2017 Mike Fitz (former KNP&P ranger) commented about how bear skulls change shape as the bear ages:
"Bear skulls change shape as they age. I didn't tend to see this change as something sudden. It was more gradual. This is most noticeable when you compare the relative location of ears on subadult bears and cubs to adults. Ears on young bear are generally higher on their head. As bears grow into adults, their skull widens and the ears sort of slide more toward the sides as you can see in these photos of 89 Backpack in 2008 and 2015 respectively.
In general, the ears on older subadult bears and young adult bears (4.5-6.5 years-old) remain relatively high on their head. From what I've observed, the change in ear position is much more noticeable as they approach full maturity after a few more years of growing."
Below is the 2008 photo of 89 Backpack that Mike Fitz shared in that comment (note: the 2015 photo of 89 Backpack that Mike Fitz shared on 09/30/2017 is below in the 2015 section):
2012.07.xx: 89 Backpack at Brooks Falls video by 5831a:
2013.10.07: 89 Backpack appeared to have a left front paw injury video by Janie Nook:2013.10.09: 89 Backpack video by JBirdyHome:
2013.10.10: 89 Backpack video by Janie Nook:
2014 or prior: 89 Backpack outside of the Brooks Camp Visitor Center. KNP&P video publishes January 28, 2015.
2014.09.03: 89 Backpack video by JoeBear:
2014.09.05: For nearly an hour around 9 or 10 in the morning 89 Backpack and 32 Chunk indulge in some fun playing video by JBirdyHome:
89 Backpack on his rock video by Tzz Oha:
89 Backpack eating salmon with the magpies and ravens. One of the magpies jumps up on 89 Backpack's back. Video by Tzz Oha:
2014.10.20: 89 Backpack and 32 Chunk play on the beach snapshots by Larinor:
89 Backpack and 474 play fight video by ytb53151:
89 Backpack video by Victoria White:
89 Backpack snapshot by MrsBoomer:
2015.09.11: 854 Divot bluff charges 89 Backpack video by JoeBear:
2015.09.19: 89 Backpack and 151 Walker playfighting in this video by Peter Photogram. Please note: There is no known relation between 89 Backpack and 151 Walker at this time. 89 Backpack and 151 Walker were both classified as adult males at the time this footage was captured.:
89 Backpack KNP&P video :
89 Backpack photos from the evening of May 31, 2016 when Ranger Anela Ramos and Ranger David Kopshever observed 89 at the falls for approximately 30 minutes:
2016.06.24 16:45: 435 Holly bluff charges 89 Backpack video by Mickey Williams:
2016.06.27 14:05: 89 Backpack is displaced by 814 Lurch video by Mickey Williams:
2016.07.02: 89 Backpack and his mother 435 Holly fishing below Brooks Falls video by Brenda D:
2016.07.04 18:13: 89 Backpack naps in a belly hole on the North side of the Brooks River video by Mickey Williams:
89 Backpack fishing in the far pool video by Juergen:
12:16: 89 Backpack fishing the lip video by Mickey Williams:
16:39: 89 Backpack and 32 Chunk video by Mickey Williams:
89 Backpack and 289 the beginning video by Mickey Williams:
89 Backpack and 289 the ending video by Mickey Williams:
2017.07.04: 89 Backpack video by Rossetro:
89 Backpack fishing alone below Brooks Falls video by Brenda D:
89 Backpack in featured for the majority of this Explore video beginning at approximately the 12:20 mark. (Note: 128 Grazer and her 3 yearlings are in the beginning of this video):: (The time noted on this video may be Pacific Time not Alaska Time)
2017.07.06: 89 Backpack successfully fishing on the North side of Brooks River below the falls video by Victoria White:
2018.07.07 or PRIOR: Park visitor shantietjen posted this video of a contact interaction between 747 and 89 Backpack to their instagram on July 7, 2018.
How 89 Backpack Got His Nickname:
89 Backpack got his name in 2006 when he was observed riding on 435 Holly's back as a spring cub. Although this behavior has been observed by other sows and their cubs, the name stuck when 89 Backpack became an independent subadult. (Note: His leg injury was in 2007 when 89 was a yearling.)
Known Courting & Mating:
Mother: 435 Holly
Half Sibling: 719 from 435 Holly's 2014 litter
There were no darting attempts (successful or unsuccessful) by Ranger Michael Saxton in 2016 and 2017.
NEED TO MOVE THE INFO AND LINKS BELOW TO PROPER SECTIONS ABOVE:
ID Marks and Hints
He is very tolerant of other bears and is seen fishing in the far pool. He is climbing the hierarchy but still yields to larger more mature bears. He is also a very playful bear and has been seen play fighting with 151 Walker, 274 Overflow, 474, and 32 Chunk 89 Backpack and 32 Chunk play fight in water Backpack also has a rock named after him due to his sitting on the rock year after year. 89 Backpack on his rock 2013 , 89 Backpack on his rock 2014 , 89 Backpack on his rock 2016
More video's of 89 Backpack:
Photos of 89 Backpack: