This 3 year old Female Grizzly we first encountered with her Mother as a Cub – She was known as “Panda” because of her markings then, which were a very light and dark patterning. This photo was taken August 25th, 2012 while she was romping, wrestling and feasting with a 4 year old male lover. The day before she had been traveling alone and had swum across the lake only to be met by a pack of wolves that made a full attack on her. She had made it through the challenge just fine and it was amazing to see and feel the joy and power of her living on the day after. Glacier National Park is the center of the returning strength of Grizzly in the lower 48 states of USA. It was remarkable to meet the same Grizzly twice out of the estimated 800 Grizzlies who make Glacier National Park their home. They have taken hold of the park and it is truly the humans who are the visitors.
In Dreaming of Grizzlies return from the Rockies to the Cascades and the Sierra’s there are reasons for hope. Though the last Grizzly killed in the Cascades was in 1967, the year before the location became a National Park – 8 years before the bear gained legal protection as endangered. A Grizzly was photographed in the North Cascades in October of 2010. There is evidence that there could be as many as 30 who are living in stealth on the North End of the Cascades. They are the slowest reproducer of our big wild mammals and yet they are growing in number at 3% a year. It is likely to be a matter of time as we regain the ability to honor the work of our elder relations.