Grizzly Bear Protecting Cubs in Grand Teton Park Captured in Beautiful Photo Series

by Halle Ames

Throughout the animal kingdom, the saying ‘Don’t mess with mama bear” is no joke. One photographer captured this cautionary moment of a grizzly and her cubs.

Nature photographer Kunal Singh caught this incredible moment between a mother grizzly bear and her cubs in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in June of 2020.

The mother grizzly in question is nothing short of a superstar in the bear world, especially in this bear-itory. Known as Grizzly 399, She is one of the oldest known living grizzly bears. In the photo, she stands on her hind legs as she senses danger. Her young cubs hid behind their brave mother.

“Once-In-a-Lifetime Shot” of Mother Bear and Cubs

Singh tells the Southwest News Service (SWNS) that he wasn’t planning on taking such a spectacular photo. The photographer reveals he was just out to snap some “nice pictures” when he saw the mother bear and her cubs.

“My adrenaline was going when I saw her stood up because it was a once-in-a-lifetime shot,” Singh. “She’s an incredible animal, an apex predator, and the most famous grizzly bear alive. I went out with the aim of getting some nice pictures, but I never could have hoped to get anything that good.”

Kunal Singh, who has been named Photographer of the Year, according to his website, says that the shot of Grizzly 399 and this moment would live with him forever.

“Moments like that are really as good as it gets. It was one of the most memorable scenes I’ve photographed, without question. I was snapping as many photographs as I could, so I didn’t stop to look at them, but when she stood up, I sensed I’d captured something special. Just seconds later, she ran off with the cubs in tow, so it was a fantastic moment to capture.”

Grizzly 399

Grizzly 399 is known as one of the oldest bears in the United States at the ripe age of 24-years-old. Fox News reports that most grizzly bears die before their 25th birthday.

Not only has she managed to outlive most of her counterparts, but she has also mothered at least 16 cubs.

Officials last saw the elderly bear in 2020.

In September, Outsider reported on Grizzly 399 and her four cubs as they held up traffic to play with cones. Read more about that adorable scene and the history of 399 here.