‘Alaskan Bush People’ Star Bear Brown Was Pulling April Fools Prank, Will Return to Show

by Jennifer Shea

Bear Brown is not leaving the cast of “Alaskan Bush People,” the star revealed in an Instagram post on Thursday. It was all an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

The Discovery Channel show star had seemed to invoke his recently deceased father, Billy Brown, in explaining the decision to leave the show. In his Instagram update, Bear acknowledged that Billy’s death is no laughing matter.

“Gotcha!!!!” Bear posted to Instagram. “That was an April fools joke in bad taste!!! My apologies! I’m definitely not leaving the show I plan on filming until I’m an old man!!! It’s been rough for sure! But the show is one thing in my life that is definitely good! I was gonna wait until tomorrow to say anything, but it got too much attention!!! Happy April fools day!!!”

Bear Had Announced His Departure from Show

In an Instagram post from earlier in the day on Thursday, Bear had said he was quitting the show because of “recent events” – by which many people assumed he meant his father’s death – and subjects not appropriate to get into on social media.

“Due to recent events and things I can’t discuss on social media, it’s with a heavy heart, I’ve decided to no longer continue filming for Alaskan Bush People!” Bear posted. “It’s been a wild ride! God bless everyone!”

Some fans were understanding, saying they’d miss Bear but wished him peace, happiness and luck, and would keep him in their prayers. Others caught on pretty quickly.

“April fool’s joke? (I hope),” one fan posted.

‘Alaskan Bush People’ Fans React to Prank

Most of Bear’s fans took no exception to the revelation of the prank, reacting instead with laughter and admiration for an April Fool’s Day prank neatly executed.

“WELL PLAYED,” one fan commented on Instagram.

“lol got me!” another admitted.

“You’re gooooood!” another fan wrote admiringly. “I haven’t been ‘gotcha’d’ in a very long time.”

Billy Brown’s Death Shook His Family

Billy died on Feb. 7 at age 68. His family initially went silent after his death, but then the memorials began pouring in. The Discovery Channel even aired a tribute special honoring Billy’s legacy.

Billy had suffered from breathing problems – which doctors reportedly attributed to trouble with his heart, not his lungs – and kidney issues, per The Sun. He died of a seizure. He had been hospitalized multiple times over the past few years. And doctors had recommended he move to a lower altitude to improve his health outlook.

But as Bear knew well, Billy was determined to live his life on his own terms, right up until the end. After his father died, it was Bear who updated the public on the news via his Instagram account.

“He was our best friend – a wonderful and loving dad, granddad and husband and he will be dearly missed,” Bear wrote in February. “He lived his life on his terms, off the grid and off the land and taught us to live like that as well. We plan to honor his legacy going forward, and to continue with his dream.”